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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Monday, March 9, 2020  

Today’s Hymn

In simple trust like theirs who heard beside the Syrian sea
the gracious calling of the Lord,
let us, like them, without a word
rise up and follow thee.

“Dear Lord and Father of Mankind” (v. 2) by John Greenleaf Whittier
Hymn 169, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

I hear the poet’s longing in this verse­. Sometimes I wish I could just have a simple faith, too. That I could just trust my gut and believe and that would be enough. But trust doesn’t seem so simple these days, when competing voices from all sides of every issue fill the airwaves and the online forums. Was it really that easy for those beside the Syrian sea to rise up and follow Jesus?

When I think about trust more deeply, I realize mine has two components, head and heart. The heart component is much more instinctual, more gut-level, less academic. My head, on the other hand, wants to listen to the evidence and think everything through carefully. My head and my heart aren’t always as aligned as I would like them to be, and I tend to lead with my head.

If I tune into what my heart is telling me, then yes, faith does seem more straightforward. If I listen to my head and pay attention to what’s going on around me, it’s much less so. So how do I get the two sides of me to come together? Perhaps the clue is in the last line, in the rising up and following. Faith will follow action, not the other way around. By trusting with my heart and acting accordingly, I can mute the cacophony so that my faith can grow.

Gracious God, help me lead with my heart and listen to your voice above all. Grant that I may trust you with both heart and head. In your name. Amen.

Written by Lisa Stracks, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church

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