Today marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.
We had a glorious sunrise this morning. And we plan to watch the sun head down tonight as we catch fireflies. My son is ecstatic! In between, we’ll have adventures, and normal life, and unplanned for happenings.
The irony to me is that even though we will have more daylight than any other day this year, it doesn’t FEEL like the longest day. You know what day FEELS like the longest day? The winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. The darkness, the chill, the dreariness settle in and dampen the spirit.
This happens in seasons of life too. There are seasons that are filled with life, and goodness, and hope, and joy. These days fly by and we soak them in and rejoice in their beauty. But there are also seasons of pain, sorrow, doubt, discouragement. Even if the season is short according to time, it feels lengthy to us.
This is where the Psalmist finds himself in Psalm 119:81-88. He’s at the end of his rope. You can hear the anguish in his words,
I’m homesick – longing for your salvation; I’m waiting for your word of hope. My eyes grow heavy watching for some sign of your promise; how long must I wait for your comfort? How long do I have to put up with all this? (vs 81, 82, 84a The Message)
Isn’t it comforting to know that others have these seasons too? You aren’t alone. And you’re not forgotten.
Even in this dark and long season, the Psalmist has resolve. He knows what will carry him through to the other side. And so he says in verse 83,
There’s smoke in my eyes – they burn and water, but I keep a steady gaze on the instructions you post. (The Message)
Have you ever sat by a fire when smoke started drifting your way? Do you usually stay in that spot? I don’t. I move where the wind isn’t blowing smoke my way. I don’t like the discomfort.
Yet, in life we don’t have that luxury. We can’t always avoid the pain and hurt and disillusionment. So, what do we do? Exactly what the Psalmist did. We resolve to keep our eyes fixed on God and his words that will carry us through.
You might weep through tears. You might cry out, “How long?” You might be desperate for a small ray of hope, a sign of God’s promise. You might feel like you’re being overcome and can’t handle one more thing.
But through it all you fight to cling to the truth of God’s goodness, love, and mercy towards you. Your gaze is steady. Fixed on the One who hurts alongside you, catches your tears in his bottle, and acts on your behalf even when you can’t see it.
And he will come through. He always does. Not always according to our time table or in the way we imagine he will. But he is faithful even when he is not predictable.
Fix your gaze on him and find your mind and heart steadied even in the midst of your longest day.
Psalm 119 is full of truth that will steady your mind and heart. Want help internalizing its truths? Read this post to find out how you can in just 10 min a day!