Lenten Reflection

I don’t want to assume, but my guess is everyone knows Easter is this coming Sunday. With the coming of Easter and the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ, we conclude the season of Lent.  I hope the last forty days of Lent have provided you with the opportunity for growth in your relationship with God. Perhaps you gave up something in your life that has allowed you to rely on God a little more. Maybe you added something to your life that was missing and as a result you are feeling closer to Him. Hopefully you were able to participate with us in reading through the “Psalms of Disorientation” over the last few weeks and you were able to experience God in a new and fresh way as a result.  This season of Lent has been a wonderful time for me personally, as well as for Erin and I as a couple. We have added things in our marriage that we would like to make a routine as we continue to learn to rely on God to raise our son Liam. I practiced a few spiritual disciplines that were absent in my life. And I spent time reading through the Psalms outlined in the Lenten guide.

I wanted to take just a minute to share what I have learned and experienced from reading through Psalms over the last few weeks. One of my struggles at the beginning of lent was identifying with King David and the other authors and the disorientation and darkness in their lives. Up to this point, life hasn’t thrown anything like that my way. For that I am grateful. However, I know there are several people I have had conversations with over the last several weeks who do identify with these Psalms. One of the things I have seen during this season, is that those individuals who have experienced disorientation and darkness have experienced God in a way that I haven’t. They have experienced a closeness and reliance upon God that I envy in some ways. My hope and prayer through these Psalms has been for the future seasons of darkness and disorientation which will certainly come at some point or another. I have prayed that the words from David and others would sink into my heart so when the darkness and disorientation come I will be able to draw hope from the authors experiences.

The particular words which have stuck with me over the last few weeks come from Psalm 103 and Psalm 63. Both are Psalms praising God for who He is and for what He has done.

     Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-who forgives all your sins and  heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalm 103:2-5 O God you are my God, earnestly I seek you;…..My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:1, 8.

These phrases are challenging because I know that even in joyous times I struggle to proclaim them. I only hope my faith will allow me to proclaim them in times of darkness and disorientation  If we are faithful to remember the ways God has provided and shown Himself to us in the past, then we are better to trust He will continue to do so even when it seems there is no hope.

I pray this season has been good for you. I pray this week and weekend will be reminders of God’s love, mercy and grace. And I pray your life will reflect your growth through this season of Lent.

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