Honest to God

Joel Plantinga

READ : Psalm 13

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? (Psalm 13:1, niv)

As a pastor I have been with many people in the midst of great personal tragedy. I remember sitting with one family in stunned silence over the sudden death of a loved one. I could sense the rage they felt over their loss, which they nevertheless hid with the correct phrases we’ve conditioned ourselves to use. “God is good . . . I trust God completely . . . God is in control.” All of which is true. But I also pointed the family to this Psalm, giving them permission to “let God have it” without fear of being written out of the Book of Life. They responded, venting their anger and frustration towards a God who seemed to be on the sideline when they needed him the most. They later shared how God ministered to them through that.

David had a solid theology of God’s sovereignty, yet he honestly questioned God’s goodness and apparent silence in an hour of need. Desperate, he cried out to God—and he found healing, concluding the Psalm with worship.

Relational expert Gary Smalley says, “Conflict is the doorway to intimacy.” Only when we struggle most deeply with God can we discover the depth of his grace.


Lord, forgive us for hiding our true feelings from you. Help us to be real with you. Amen.