Psalm 90:13

Do return, O LORD; how long will it be?  And be sorry for Your servants. 

Underlying this anxious plea for the return of God, and for His compassion for His servants, there is a profound experience that I have often felt, but been hesitant to identify because it seemed to challenge some of the wonderful truths that I learned about God in my earliest lessons of the Christian faith.  The experience is a sense of abandonment by God, impatience for Him to care enough to return (…how long?), and a desire that He would feel a certain way about me (…be sorry…).  I don’t just want God to return and rescue me; I want Him to want to rescue me, because he sees my experience and feels something about it.  The Hebrew word for return here is the same one often translated repent—even when it speaks of God.  The implications of the very idea of God repenting of anything usually rates at least a page in any good theology—why would God ever change His mind about anything?  And yet, Moses here asks God to do so.  There are, as I wrote, plenty of theologians who are more than willing to let God off the hook here, and explain to us why Moses wasn’t really asking God to change, it just seemed that way.  I’m not so sure.

I can’t solve the problem in today’s reading, or in a thousand days’ readings, because I am (in this sense, anyway) a Moses; I wonder where God is, why He is taking so long to help me, and if He is in anyway moved by my particular problems and feelings.  According to the Bible, He is with me, is not late in showing up in my life, and cares about me.  You are a Moses, too, if you’ve ever felt that way, had those questions, and yet still cried out to this LORD who seemed distant, late, and unconcerned.  I hope you’re a Moses in this regard, not because I think you’re going to do great things for God, or because I don’t want to feel alone, but because I want for both me and you to keep crying out to God when He seems far away, seems in no great hurry to be here, and even appears to be detached from our feelings.  For when we cry to God for his presence and compassion we are actually demonstrating faith in Him–a confidence not only that He hears us, but cares about our experiences, too.

Father, please give me the assurance of your presence and compassion that I so desperately need today.  Please, don’t delay!  By the end of this day, please let me look back on it and see that You are not only “with” me, but are also deeply and perfectly concerned for everything that I am going through, and all that I am feeling.  I trust You with all of that, Father!  Amen.


Pastor Ken


  1. Michelle
    May 25, 2015

    Ken, this devotional brought me to tears. I will pray that God brings you peace in spite of your present circumstances and that He reveals to you how He views your situation. A wise counselor told me one time that the view I have of my life on this earth is limited and always looks messy and without a clear plan. It’s like looking at the underneath of a needlepoint design. The top may show a beautiful picture, but the bottom looks like a tangled mess. You can’t even make out the picture at all most times.

    – Michelle

    1. Ken Garrett
      May 25, 2015

      Thank you, Michelle, for your kind words and wise insight! Your brother, Ken

  2. Thu Ha Dinh
    May 25, 2015


    1. Ken Garrett
      May 25, 2015

      Hi Thu Ha! thanks! Ken

  3. Constantly find ourselves saying “Come Jesus, Come ! I marvel at HIS patience . Our Holy God
    Must grieve at all HE sees ……but surely know HIS timing will be perfect .
    Blessings to all those at Grace .

    1. Ken Garrett
      May 25, 2015

      Thank you, Bonnie! So nice to hear from you, too! Blessings, Ken

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