We pray, asking God, "Why haven't you taken this away? What are you trying to achieve? It's not glorious, no-one sees it, yet you ask me to bear it day by day. Why don't you deliver me?".
I was reflecting on these things recently when I read these words in The Briefing:
There is something real about the Psalms. As you read about the Psalmist's world, it still looks the same as your world...But in the midst of this realism, like a cool breeze on a stifling summer's night comes the quiet promises of God. Despite the rhetoric in so many of 'his' churches, these promises don't really tell you how to escape; instead, they help you to endure.
The apostle Paul once begged God - three times! - to take away his "thorn in the flesh". Instead of delivering him, Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:1-10)
We would choose escape; but often, what God gives us is strength to endure. Even when no human sees our patient endurance, God sees it, and his name is glorified.
Quote is from Peter Bolt's article "Delightful breezes from the Psalms" in The Briefing; emphasis mine.
images is from ashley rose at flickr