How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
2 How long shall I take counsel in my soul,
Having sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
Enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
4 And my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
And my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken.
5 But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
6 I will sing to the Lord,
Because He has dealt bountifully with me. Psalm 13, NASB
Psalm 13 is an example of what Brueggemann would call a psalm of disorientation. Brueggemann describes this part of our lives as disjointed, off balance, a loss of symmetry, confusing, painful, chaotic, or just all over the place. The nice order and symmetry of the orientation phase is gone and this is what we exist in now. Disorientation feels and sometimes looks like we are living Job’s life. The ancient Israelites, the people of God were not afraid to express their thoughts about the Job existence part of life, therefore the title for this series.
Today’s people of God no longer live in a society that is willing to admit there are times and periods in our lives that are disoriented. This societal thinking has become a part of the church. Because of this, the church rarely allows the people of God to delve into the psalms of disorientation. The church and the world want us to think or believe that life exists in a state of orientation. We are made to feel as if something is wrong with us because our lives are not always nice and orderly. Because of this fear to delve in and speak the psalms of disorientation, the people of God are made to feel as if they lack faith in God.
This type of admission is not a of lack faith in God, but like the writer of psalm 13, it shows “ . . . a faith that is indeed a transformed faith, one that does faith in a very different God, one who is present in, participating in, and attentive to the darkness, weakness, and displacement of life. “
Now that we have established that complaining is not a lack of faith, but actually faith that you know God not only sees you, but God is with you in the disorientation, let us look at the psalm. The psalmist is not shy about asking God, how long is it going to be, or even God have you forgotten me or even hiding from me. The psalmist prays and asks God how long will their enemy be “exalted over me.” The writer even has the audacity to say, “Consider and answer me, O Lord my God.” To make the request more urgent, the writer asks God to “Enlighten my eyes,” because if God doesn’t, the writer “will sleep the sleep of death.” For the writer, the consequence will be that “my enemy will say, “I have overcome him.” Not only will the writer’s enemy brag about the writer’s downfall, but also the psalmist’s enemy will rejoice. But what I love about all of the drama of the words in this psalm is that this is how we really feel and want to know and even ask if God knows that we are disoriented.
But in the end, the psalmist’s shows real faith. The writer is still willing to “[trust] in Your lovingkindness. The writer knows that God will save and rejoices in that knowledge so much so that the psalmist will sing to the Lord this knowledge. For this writer, faith comes because God “has dealt bountifully with me.” Let us have the transformed faith of the writer of Psalm 13 and know that God will be “present in, participating in, and attentive to the darkness, weakness, and displacement of life.” Let us not be afraid to speak and pray honestly to this God like we are the people of God.
 Walter Brueggemann, Spirituality of the Psalms (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2002).
 Ibid, p. 26.
 Ibid, p. 27.