Larry and I recently talked with a woman who is unhappy that the first year of her marriage has been so hard. When we indicated that things can take a long time to get better, she said, “But it’s been a year!”
I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to be shocked or laugh out loud. She sincerely thought she shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable for such a long time! A long time? Only later did I think I could have told her about my mother-in-law who struggled with Larry’s dad who was in a cult for 27 years until he turned back to the Lord.
Hmmm, let’s see. One year? 27 years? Quite a difference. I’m sure my mother-in-law in those 27 years thought at every new year, “OK, this is enough!”
Since I’m studying Isaiah, I thought of him. At one point, after Isaiah had given prophecies of doom, he said to the Lord, “Then said I, Lord, how long? And he answered, Until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate,” (Isaiah 6:11 NIV).
When were Isaiah’s prophecies fulfilled? Isaiah never saw some of them happen. They occurred after he died.
Maybe you’ve been going through something difficult for a short time and it seems too long. Or you’ve been going through something hard for a long time–and you KNOW it’s too long. How long, Lord?
Only the Lord knows the answer to that. And our job is to trust in His lovingkindness.