Week 8: How long, oh Lord?
By Yolandé Korkie
Revelation 2:10b “You will be persecuted for ‘ten days’. Remain faithful even when facing death, and you will be given the crown of life.” (NLT)
In this week’s devotion, I would like to share a moment from a time of hardship in my life, while we were hostages in Yemen. A couple of weeks into the ordeal, our main question to the Lord turned from “Why Lord?” to “How long will this continue, Lord?” We just wanted the assurance that there would be an end to all the pain and heartache because the trauma dragged on, with no end in sight. Hope for a resolution had evaporated like rain in a scorched desert, and it seemed as if the Lord was not answering our most urgent prayers. Our thoughts turned to David’s cries in the Psalms, and Jeremiah’s lament, and these deeply resonated with us. It consoled us to know that others had felt the same during their tribulations. However, the niggling question of ‘time’ remained…
One day, the Lord reminded us of a Bible study from Revelation 2:10, that we had done as a family, literally days before our kidnapping. Initially, we grabbed hold of the ‘ten days’ in a literal sense – but, ten days from the day of our kidnapping, came and went. We prayed anxiously that our ordeal would not last another ten years. Suddenly, we recalled what the Bible study had focussed on: ten days suggested a ‘measured’ time and had nothing to do with physical days or hours.
Understanding that our hardship had a set time limit comforted us more than knowing what the end date of our ordeal would be. It assured us that God was still in control, and that although Satan desired to test the followers of Christ (Lk 22:31 – 34), God would not allow it to continue indefinitely. There were parameters – as we saw in the book of Job – when God told Satan he was not allowed to touch Job’s life. In the same way, our suffering would have a time limit.
Reflection: Have you perhaps misunderstood God’s answer to your prayers? Or maybe an aspect thereof?
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