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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, June 7, 2019              

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 22:19–28         

But you, O Lord, do not be far away!
   O my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword,
   my life from the power of the dog!
   Save me from the mouth of the lion!

From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me.
I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;
   in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
   All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
   stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor
   the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
   but heard when I cried to him.

From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
   my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
   those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
   May your hearts live forever!

All the ends of the earth shall remember
   and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
   shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,
   and he rules over the nations. (NRSV)

Occasionally life feels like things are out of control and God feels far off. When I think about why this sentiment seems true, it is usually because the dilemma has not been resolved quickly. During difficult times I anxiously await a quick fix, looking to earthly support methods to resolve the problem. Because human intervention is not readily apparent I feel alone in the crisis and abandoned. In times like this I expect a superhero to rescue me from the crisis and save me from a devastatingly painful situation.

Maybe this sounds like a familiar experience. If so, be comforted knowing that you are not experiencing a new or unusual occurrence. We have all been there.

The psalmist expresses frustrations about the folly of enemies and asks God for help in this time of distress. At the lowest possible point the psalmist calls on God for deliverance. In times of fright, panic, or disappointment, we too can call on God for deliverance, especially in times when God seems far off.

We are reassured in the psalm. God did not hide from the psalmist but responded to the cry for help. There is great comfort in the reality that God hears and responds to our pleas for help.

If you have the idea that God resides in some faraway place and only half-heartedly hears your plea, fear not. God is active in our lives and desires to be in a participatory relationship with us. God is a close as your plea for help.

Almighty One, we recognize that you are sovereign, and we know that you care for us more than we can express. We confess there are times when we feel all alone and in need of your help. Please help us to realize your presence in our daily lives so that we can experience the fullness of your grace. Amen.

Written by Robert Crouch, Director of Volunteer Ministry

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