Praying to a Good God

Praying through the 5th Psalm this morning, I noticed that the phrase “O Lord” occurs five times in the first four verses.  And it’s not just for stylistic purposes.   David is really hurting.  He pleads for a lenient rebuke.  He begs for mercy. He longs for healing for both body and soul. “Quickly! Hurry!”  Each time he states his desires, he adds a tense “O Lord.”  It’s as if his first are clenched, face grimacing and teeth gnashing in pain, wailing in misery, again and again, “O Lord!”
When life is hard, we know God is powerful because we pray that he would help us.  We really think that he can do something about our troubles.  We generally have no problem believing that God is able to step in and change things.  What we doubt, however, is his goodness.  We wonder why it takes him so long to do something about our agony.
In such times, we must be careful and thorough to talk to ourselves about God’s goodness.  We must preach the goodness of God to ourselves when every present experience seems only to reveal a God who could do something but doesn’t care enough to do anything. 
By the end of the psalm, without any change in circumstances, that’s precisely what David is doing.  He is reminding himself that a good God hears the prayers of his people.  He promises to do us good. He has already performed the ultimate good in giving us his son.  He has laid out a good eternity for his children. 
He knows our struggles, loves us deeply, and is working everything out for our good, even when our circumstances don’t change, because he is good.