Psalm 6, 12; Lam. 1:17-22; 2 Cor. 1:8-22; Mark 11:27-33
The prevailing themes in these readings are painful, pointing out the shortcomings, weaknesses, and diminishing of God’s people; their weeping, suffering, and agony; pleas for relief from enemies; betrayals by allies. There is great lament.
What are the responses to this suffering? In Lamentations, the plea is for God to punish our enemies. In Psalm 6, the request is for God to pardon us, heal us, and deliver us. In Psalm 12, the hope is for safety and protection. In 2nd Corinthians, the strategy is to rely on God’s deliverance. In Mark, Jesus urges us to simply trust Him.
In some cases, the response is externally focused; in others it is internally focused. There is a vast difference, depending upon one’s sense of control and ownership: do we ask God to “fix it” or to empower us to respond appropriately to adversity?
What is the belief and hope in God? We trust that God hears and knows our needs; that He will protect us and deliver us from adversity, or where adversity exists, to help us cope and overcome it. God has made a commitment to us. We need to acknowledge that commitment and make one of our own: to admit Him into our lives and acknowledge His authority. Although we are tempted to want revenge on those who mistreat us, or to beg God not to afflict us with dreadful circumstances, our trust needs to be in God…that He will provide justice and mercy for us all…for those who labor for God and even for those who threaten us…for God is God of all.
Questions provoked by these readings, as they apply to ourselves today: What are my own sources of pain, affliction, sense of mistreatment, or worry? Who is responsible for resolving them? Are any of these under my influence or control? What should I ask God for? What are my personal commitments?
The bottom line is this: God will show mercy, forgiveness, comfort, and direction in our lives if we will let Him. Keep the faith…and act on it!
Posted on Tue, March 30, 2010
by Lenten Meditations filed under