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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Friday, January 17, 2020  

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
   ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
   worship the Lord in holy splendor.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
   the God of glory thunders,
   the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
   the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
   the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
   and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
   the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
   and strips the forest bare;
   and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
   the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
   May the Lord bless his people with peace! (NRSV)

We have all witnessed the power of severe weather before, and it can be quite frightening at times! My family experienced our first hurricane in 2012 while living in New Orleans, Louisiana. I remember the debate of whether to evacuate or not, the preparation, and then the landfall of the storm. It hit late at night, knocking out our power.

Now, I love a good storm, but I was nervous about this one. The wind and rain was different than other storms that I had experienced. I vividly remember sitting in the dark, late at night, listening to news coverage on the battery-operated radio, wondering if we had made the right decision to stay.

I imagine that the psalmist wrote this piece during a huge storm. He writes of the thunder, the lightning bolts, the splitting of the trees, and how powerful and mighty God is. The psalmist closes with a very different tone: that God gives God’s people strength and blesses them with peace. It is truly amazing to know that our powerful and mighty God cares deeply about each and every one of us. The God of the universe gives strength and peace to us all.

Whether we are experiencing an actual storm or stormy negative thoughts in our minds, know that we can turn to God for strength to get through it, and for a sense of peace during a time of struggle.

Powerful and mighty God, I am so grateful for the strength and peace you provide for me. As I go through this busy day, help me to feel that strength and peace, and help me to show others your love. Amen.

Written by Briana Belding-Peck, Family Ministry Coordinator

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