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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, August 20, 2019           

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 33:12–22

Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
   the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

The Lord looks down from heaven;
   he sees all humankind.
From where he sits enthroned he watches
   all the inhabitants of the earth—
he who fashions the hearts of them all,
   and observes all their deeds.
A king is not saved by his great army;
   a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a vain hope for victory,
   and by its great might it cannot save.

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
   on those who hope in his steadfast love,
to deliver their soul from death,
   and to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord;
   he is our help and shield.
Our heart is glad in him,
   because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
   even as we hope in you. (NRSV)

A king is not saved by his great army. A warrior is not delivered by his great strength. In other words, even the powerful and strong cannot save themselves. In some ways, that’s frightening. It can be unsettling to know that no matter what I do, no matter how much time I spend in prayer and worship, no many how many hours I volunteer, no matter how much money I give, there’s nothing I can do to save myself. On the other hand, that can be incredibly freeing. That truth takes away any pressure to be “strong enough,” to be “powerful enough,” to be “good enough.” That is one of the most wonderful gifts we’ve been given as children of God if we’re willing to receive it.

We’ve all had experiences that have made us feel like we’re not good enough. One of those experiences for me was when my high school boyfriend broke up with me for not being a good enough Christian. I spent more than a decade believing that. Fortunately, with the help of some gifted therapists and two key, life-changing events—becoming a deacon and meeting my husband—I was able to let go of that heavy, untrue burden.

While I am so thankful that (most days) I find peace and comfort in knowing that I am good enough, I wish I’d been able to trust in that all along. It would have saved me a lot of heartache.

You are good enough. What do you need to let go of to believe that?

When I question whether I am good enough, when other people tell me that I’m not, may I find strength and comfort in knowing that because I am your child, O God, I was, am, and always will be. And no one can take that away from me. Amen.

Written by Nicole Spirgen, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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