The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime;
and His song will be with me in the night,
A prayer to the God of my life.
Sometimes it’s hard for me to comprehend the lovingkindness of God. Especially when I am in unrelenting pain. Ever felt that way?
Maybe for you it’s not physical pain, maybe it’s a seemingly never ending pandemic that causes you to quesion the lovingkindness of God. Maybe it’s a relationship you have prayed for for healing and it simply hasn’t changed. Maybe you have prayed and believed for your prodigal child’s return and waited and waited and waited. Whatever the circumstance, sometimes unanswered prayer can lead us to question the goodness of God.
The psalmist who penned these words in Psalm 42 was in exile from his homeland, removed from his life as he knew it before captivity, and he longs to return to his old normal. I can really relate to that. I yearn for my old normal, the BP (before pain) days when I moved freely and was not limited in what I could do. I liked the freedom that brought. Much as this psalmist yearns for his days of freedom, I yearn for mine. Almost everyone I visit with is longing for some kind of return to their normal.
This verse in Psalm 42 is the turning point of the Psalm. No, the captive hadn’t been released, nothing changed about his life except his focus. He switched his focus from the evidences of his captivity to the faithfulness of his God. If I think of God’s love the way I think of human love, it would be characterized with words like fickle, unfaithful, conditional, something I have to earn, or something I can easily lose.
But God’s lovingkindness is characterized with words like strength, steadfastness, unconditional, and everlasting. God covenanted to love His people, He promised His love to people He knew would turn on Him, reject Him, abandon Him. In spite of that, He never stopped loving them. Or me. Or you.
Whatever is holding you or me captive, God still loves us, He stills commands His lovingkindness in the daytime, not because we deserve it, but because He purposed and promised to do just that.
Knowing this and believing this changes my song in the night and it changes my focus during the day. God will turn my captivity in His timing just as surely as He turned the captivity of the people who had been exiled. He is no respecter of persons; what He has done for others, He will do for me and for you.
Faithful God, my faithful God and deliverer, Your lovingkindness is more than I can comprehend. I once said about my pain, why me? But now, I can just as easily say about Your love, why me? Why me, except that You chose me from before the foundations of the world and have faithfully kept Your Word to me ever since. How gracious You are. Please be my song in the night and help me during this time of captivity to not lose sight of Your great lovingkindness. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.