And None of Us Knows …


We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be. Psalm 74:9

Sometimes life is hard. Well, actually, lots of times life is hard. The news reports one crisis after another and the future can look dim. On a personal level, several dear ones in my life are going through really hard times: cancer, infertility, divorce, broken relationships, and more. My heart aches for each individual, and I remember times when my own heart felt like a frozen tundra with no sight of warmth or life or hope. It seemed like winter would last forever.

You know one of the hardest things about hard times? Not knowing how long it will last. Yeah. Asaph, the writer of Psalm 74, says it very well. “We are given no signs from God; no prophets are left, and none of us knows how long this will be.”

I remember. I remember saying to God, “If only You could tell me how long I have to endure this and how it will end, I could go on with courage. I don’t know whether this crisis will last another week or ten years or … forever. I hate this uncertainty, and I long for better days.”

Reflecting on times like that, here are a few ways Asaph teaches us to cope as he wrote a heart-rending song, inspired by God, that became Bible: Psalm 74.

  • You might as well be honest with God. “O God, why have you rejected us forever? Why does your anger smolder against the sheep of your pasture?” Asaph laments in verse 1. You can feel his despondency, and, as is often the case with depression, the heaviness feels like it will go on forever. We have a tendency to walk away and sulk when God seems silent, don’t we? How hard it is to open His Word when you expect disappointment. Again. And yet, this is exactly what we must do. Talk with God through prayer and the Word. Tell Him how you feel. Putting it into words clarifies it in your mind, and starts the conversation with God with honesty. Asaph was great at being honestly unhappy with God!
  • Acknowledge that God is not doing what you want. “Why do you hold back your hand, your right hand? Take it from the folds of your garment and destroy them!” writes a frustrated Asaph in verse 11. He knew God was big enough, strong enough, mighty enough to defeat those destroying Israel, and yet he pictured God keeping His hands in His pockets. Sometimes God does not move, even when we beg Him. This is the reality. Mary and Martha begged Jesus to come heal their sick brother, and He delayed. David asked God to spare his little boy’s life, and God did not. Let’s not mince words. God does not always act the way we wish. He’s not a genie in a bottle that we can rub and get our way. We need to acknowledge that, and still talk to Him about it.
  • Remember who God is and praise Him. “But God is my King from long ago; he brings salvation on the earth.” Asaph admits in the very next verse. Regardless of what was going on in Asaph’s world, God was still King. God was still Asaph’s King. God was still the One who brings salvation to the earth. Asaph turned his eyes from the problem to the One he still trusted, despite the bleakness of his situation. If you continue reading Psalm 74, you will see how he reminds himself of God’s goodness and greatness. We need to do this especially during those times when we don’t see God moving. Our present difficulties do not change the innate nature of a good and loving God. Period. Faith is restored when we remember this.
  • Continue to come to God no matter how long it takes. “Rise up, O God, and defend your cause …” pleads Asaph at the end of his lament. He still asks. He still seeks. He still trusts. He goes to the only One who can fix it. Even if the fixing is taking a very long time and the wait seems interminable.

The God who created seasons will not allow a “winter” to last forever. Really. No matter how horrible your season is, dear one, it will end. One day, the temperature will shift just a bit and ice will begin to thaw, and then to your amazement, green sprouts and leaves and buds of flowers will return again to the barrenness of your heart. Don’t turn away from the God of all comfort! Run to Him with every thought and every feeling. Remember He is good and He loves you deeply. Keep asking and keep seeking. It won’t be in vain. I think Asaph would agree.

You are loved,




Sweet Selah Ministries

To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service

To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.
You need to agree with the terms to proceed

Next Post
Will You Hold My Hand?
Previous Post
Actually Knowing God