Even When It Hurts: March 10, 2021

Even When It Hurts -- Lent 2021 Devotional Book

Read: Psalm 43

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
–Psalm 43:5a

In Psalm 43 the psalmist laments not only his distress at the hands of the wicked but his estrangement from God. His hope lies in the steadfastness of God.

Sometimes I wonder, is God not listening? Why doesn’t God do something to help? The strength that once got me through pain and grief has drained away. My days are ruled by fear, my sleep disturbed by strange dreams. I beg, plead, thank, cajole, demand–that’s what prayer is… isn’t it? I pray but hear only silence.

What do I fear: Being like the self-righteous ones who seem so sure of everything, or not being like them? I always try to do the right thing but miss the mark too often. Could so many failures make me unworthy to make that final, heavenly cut? Do I fear the dissolution of my world by hatred and twisted values? Perhaps my values and way of life are not honest-just-true-humane-sincere enough. Am I not good enough; am I not enough? Is that why God has been so distant?

These thoughts, these insecurities are my inner enemy. My own weaknesses oppress and deceive me, drive me further into that low, dark place where God can barely hear me. It is there that my soul lies, heavy, disquieted.

Yet, even there the blackness is not all there is. A small point of light catches my eye, and the longer I look at it the larger it grows. Its warmth stirs my soul, bathing it in a soothing tenderness. And still, there is silence, but silence filled with meaning, a wordless prayer.

Then I realize that I am standing on a high and holy place, a place of reconciliation, where God judges me with love. God was with me, hearing me, all the time; I just didn’t know it.

Gracious God, grant me an awareness of your divine presence, let me welcome you into my heart, and accept my gratitude as we sit in silence, together. Amen.
-Carol Treston