There are times I do not feel God’s presence. The popular poem Footsteps in the Sand describes a stylized and reassuring portrayal of God’s care for us, but it is only empty words and platitudes for the most part. God has instead given us a concrete method of reassurance which we may use at any time. Whether we feel as though our prayers are hitting a ceiling, or as though the lamp guiding our feet is dim or has gone out, God’s plan works. This plan is outlined in Psalm 13:
1 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I take counsel in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O LORD my God;
light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
6 I will sing to the LORD,
because he has dealt bountifully with me.
The first four verses display an emotional and spiritual state many of us can relate to: Where is God when I need Him most? When God seems to have forgotten, when David is seeking counsel, when his enemies are succeeding in their aims against him, when he feels all hope is lost, David cries out and does not hear a response.
The turning point in this psalm does not say that God heard him even that there was any change in his circumstances. Instead he merely trusted and remembered. God had dealt bountifully with him in the past. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, therefore God will continue to deal bountifully with him. There are times each of us can look back to where God worked obviously and with great result in our lives. When we don’t feel His presence we can remember those times we did, and then we can trust Him to continue to work in us.