ODJ: After Hours

March 7, 2018 

READ: Psalm 25:16-22 

Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress (v.16).

When the school year ended in 2016, I stayed in town (three hours from home) for an internship, while my college friends left for the summer. I loved the internship, but because it was part-time, I found myself spending long hours alone in my flat. Throughout the summer, I faced intense feelings of loneliness. One day I finally dropped to the floor in tears, asking God why He was allowing me to feel so despondent.

My cry was similar to David’s in his loneliness: “Turn to me and have mercy, for I am alone and in deep distress. My problems go from bad to worse. Oh, save me from them all!” (Psalm 25:16-17). David prayed for freedom from his sin and relief from the affliction of his enemies (vv.16-20). Despite his circumstances, however, he didn’t give up. At the end of his prayer, he said, “May integrity and honesty protect me, for I put my hope in you” (v.21). No matter how distant God seems, by His leading and power we can maintain our integrity and keep our eyes on Jesus.

We can also trust that He will take care of us. In another psalm, David praised God, stating, “Sing praises to God and to his name! Sing loud praises to him who rides the clouds.His name is the Lord—rejoice in his presence! Father to the fatherless, defender of widows—this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families; he sets the prisoners free and gives them joy” (68:4-6). No matter what the circumstances, we can trust God to take care of us and continue to praise Him even in the middle of our ‘storms’.

Looking back, I’m grateful for my lonely summer becauseas hard as it was—God taught me how to be alone and, more importantly, how to trust and praise Him even in my times of deepest pain.

—Julie Schwab

365-day plan: Judges 4:4-24

Read Psalm 27:1-14 and consider God’s goodness as we trust in and wait on Him. 
What difficult circumstances are you currently facing? What can you do to trust God and praise Him even in the midst of your challenges?