* * * * * * * * * * *
Look on my right hand and see,
For there is no one who acknowledges me;
Refuge has failed me;
No one cares for my soul.
They have heard that I sigh,
But no one comforts me.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Have you ever felt unappreciated, ignored, or unwelcome? Have you had days where it seemed that nobody cared whether you lived or died--and as a result, you struggled with the same apathy about your own life?
If so, you’re in good company.
For forty years Moses got nothing but grief for all his trouble in leading the Israelites toward their Promised Land. When the people were not cavorting with idols and pagan women, they were complaining about Moses’ incompetence. More than once God got fed up and wanted to destroy them, but Moses interceded and saved their bacon. In return, he got not even a "thank you" from the people; just more exasperation. Why didn't he quit?
After facing down the prophets of Baal at Mt. Carmel, Elijah reached the end of his rope, convinced that all his labor had been in vain. Whatever victories he won, his enemies came back stronger than ever. The people for whom he was waging this lonesome war were fickle and unreliable. Unlike Moses, he did quit, and the Lord had to gently nudge him back into the game.
Even Jesus at the end of His short life had little to show for all His sacrifices. The crowds who once thronged around Him had evaporated. His enemies were more powerful than ever. Even His own apostles got cold feet and ran away. The only thing His years of good works and wise teaching got Him was death on a Roman cross--the fate of a criminal.
There is a message in all these stories that we ought to consider. God has not promised us a life of ease in this broken world. In fact, He warns us that it will not be easy. Like Moses, Elijah, Jesus, and many others, we too will face dark days when it seems that nothing goes right, and worse, nobody cares about our struggles. It's perfectly natural that we feel discouraged and alone, just as they did.
But when you find yourself in that melancholy spirit, think of those who have gone before you. Moses achieved his mission, and was rewarded with a personal burial by the hand of God Himself. Elijah set in motion a series of events that finally exterminated the threat of Baal, and ascended into heaven in a chariot of fire. Jesus rose from the dead in a dramatic reversal of everything that had gone wrong up to that point.
Even if nobody else cares for you, God cares, and someday He will reward you, too. Don't let the indifference of others drag you down. Look to God for your reason for living, and you will have ample reason to smile.