Wet Cheeks & Clenched Teeth

Devotional: Applying the Bible to my today.

Read: Psalm 13

Have you been there? – I know I have. Maybe you’re there now… That place of physical and emotional fatigue. Just like David, with wet cheeks and clenched fists, we cry out to God, “How long?!?...

  • How long must I carry around this burden?
  • How long must the helpless be oppressed?
  • How long will injustice run wild?
  • How long will racism divide us?
  • How long will sickness wreck my body?
  • How long must I watch my loved one suffer?

This is not just venting. In some circumstances, the unanswered questions can feel as heavy as death. “Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death…” (vs3)

When our brokenness seems to be winning, what reason do we have to believe that God will bridge the divide and answer our cries for help?

David seems to be holding onto some sort of hope. How is it that in six short verses, he transitions from “will you forget me forever?” to “I will sing to the Lord because he has dealt bountifully with me.”?

The answer: hesed.

Hesed is the Hebrew word for steadfast love and is found in vs 5 “I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” Hesed is so rich and complex and far surpasses our “love for tacos”.

The hesed of God is a combination of strength in action, fierce commitment and tender emotional care. This is a love that we can only hope to mimic in our own lives, but only God seems to have mastered it. He is a mighty warrior, a faithful husband and a wise Father. David’s transition from “How long?” to praising God was because he was leaning not on his present experience for answers but rather the eternal character of God.

When the days are long and difficult, lean heavily into the hesed of God. Dive into His word as a reminder of who He is and who He has been from the beginning of time. Consider how He has been faithful in your life and the lives around you. Through tears, intermingle the overwhelming questions and your spirit of praise.

In verse 6, David says, “I will sing to the Lord…” It doesn’t say he is singing to the Lord. He’s not ready to sing just yet, but he trusts that he will because he knows God’s character and knows that He will do a good work within him. Your heart may not be singing right now, but it can and it will.

  • What are your "how long" questions?
  • What would help you to "remember" God's hesed? Reading His Word? A walk in nature? Looking at old pictures? Reading an old journal or starting a new one? Whatever it is, make a plan to do that.


Father God, Your love for us is so rich and complex. Thank You for pouring it upon us day and night. Comfort us, give us perspective when our grief is heavy and is wearing us completely out. Restore our trust and our understanding of who You are, and may it give us the ability to worship You even when our circumstances are not as they should be.


Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

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