The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
How long, O Lord?
O Lord, how long?

This post was originally published as a Grace Lutheran Port Townsend, Daily Devotional.

It has, well, been one of those days. I woke up grumpy and frustrated. (my dear and patient wife would vouch for that.) I’m certain you know what I’m talking about. So many things to worry about, I’m not sure which one to worry about next. Perhaps some of you had similar days.

The biblical writers certainly had these kinds of days. I did a quick count and there are at least 11 places where they cry out, “How long, O Lord?” I feel a little better knowing the heroes and heroines of the faith sometimes experience the same thing as the rest of us. And you know what, God never seemed to answer their question directly. God never told them how long whatever they were enduring would go on. Rather, God told them they were not alone, to hold on to Jesus, to hold on to each other, and to have faith.

I suppose God said the same thing to me today. But I was having none of it. I wanted to be grumpy and I was staying that way. In our family, we call that a “pity party.” But God brought me relief. God brought me relief through all of you. One of you told me a joke that made me laugh out loud. The first weight came off my shoulders. Another one of you called to tell me how well things were going and how much you enjoyed our audio worship. The load got even lighter.

Later, I went into the empty sanctuary and consecrated some bread and wine to be taken out to someone nearing death (not from COVID). And as I held up the bread and wine and said the words of institution and the Lord’s Prayer, I could see all your faces in the pews. You were there, all of you. I held out my arms and blessed you through
tears. You were there.

When you wonder, “How long, O Lord”—I encourage you to call a friend. Reach out, tell your story, and share your pain. You will find strength in simply being together over the phone or computer.

We don’t know how long this will go on, but its going to be a long time. There will be good days and bad days. But we are not alone. God has given us His Son. God has given us each other. Hold on, my friends, hold on. With Jesus and with each other, we will get through this.

God bless,
Coe