It was just another night, and another question went up to heaven.
I sat on my bed, my back against the headboard and cried once more. Tears rolled down my face; my Bible clenched in my hand. My heart, weary and tired.
“Why would You give me this passion for telling stories, but not a job to do so?” I questioned God angrily. “And it’s not like I haven’t been looking.”
I had been. I had been searching for months. I was in desperation mode and was waiting for one phone call. One job offer. Anything over unemployment.
When I awoke the next morning I set out to an all too familiar place – the post office. I plopped down my stack of resumes, paid, and left as quickly as I arrived, hoping it would be the last time, for a long time, I would need to visit one again.
It wasn’t. It wouldn’t be. I would visit the post office for twelve more weeks, totalling nine months of unemployment.
In the middle of it – all I could see was the struggle.
A Distorted View
There is a Psalm King David penned that resonates so deep with me when I think back to that time.
He writes, “How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day? How long will my enemy have the upper hand?” (Psalm 13:2, NLT).
When you’re facing a struggle of some kind, don’t you feel like the “enemy” always has the upper hand?
Your finances overtake you. Your business is now a burden. Your marriage controls you. Your diagnosis is overpowering. Your addiction rules over you. That job hunt – it consumes you.
Oh, how you long for the days of rest and least resistance. In Psalm 13, King David wishes for those days too as he’s in a fight of his own.
In verse 1, he asks God why He’s forgotten him, “O, LORD, how long will you forget me? Forever? …”
Don’t you feel like God has forgotten you when you’re struggling with something?
In verse 3, he pleads for God to answer him, “Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! …”
Don’t you want God to provide answers when you’re facing a battle?
In the midst of a problem I think we can all relate to King David in those verses above, but far fewer of us can relate to what he wrote in the second portion of verse 3: “… Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.”
David was obviously in great distress, but even so, he prayed for God to restore the sparkle to his eyes. What an interesting thing to pray for don’t you think?
Not, deliver me or I will die. Not, save me or I will die. But, restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
The phrase, “The eyes are the windows to the soul,” immediately comes to mind, but David’s plea goes deeper than that. Commentaries suggest David knew his vision was cloudy. He also knew a distorted view could destroy him. So he prayed that God would enlighten him.
He wanted eyes that could look past distress and see deliverance. Eyes that could look past the problem and see the Provider.
Restore The Sparkle
I wish, back then, when I was struggling to find work I wouldn’t have let the stress of it all entangle me. God provided, just not in my timing. And in the wait, there were valuable lessons He taught me.
Perhaps in the middle of our times of despair, we can pray like King David and ask God to enlighten us with His wisdom and infinite knowledge. We can ask God to open our eyes and regard the situation from a different perspective – His perspective. After all, Scripture tells us God works all things together for good, even our deepest struggles.
This isn’t easy to pray for. I commend King David on his prayer, but I do believe that by praying such a powerful petition we’ll be able to endure difficult seasons in life without the season consuming us.
I don’t know what battle you may be fighting now, if any. But I do know there is a God who hears the desperation in your voice and sees your tear-stained cheeks. He is right there with you. And He is ready to enlighten you like only He can.
Maybe, you need only ask.
Restore the sparkle to my eyes. Enlighten me with your wisdom.
In Jesus’ name, amen.