How great is your goodness which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you.
During this season of Lent, the first thing that comes to my mind is the joy of the upcoming Easter. As a child, Easter was a fun, family celebration filled with a wonderful Easter dinner, Easter egg hunts, and Easter baskets. In those early years, attending church was just a part of the process.
Now, with more knowledge and understanding, Easter has a different connotation for me, though it remains a time of joy. Today, I cherish the true significance of Easter: Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and was resurrected just as God had promised. This resurrection confirms the power of God and the promise of forgiveness. Who wouldn't be joyful about that? However, the days leading up to Easter were anything but joyful for our Lord; it was a time of suffering, persecution, and betrayal.
Psalm 31 reminds me that, even when we are suffering trials and tribulations, we are still led and protected by God. Lent is a good time to reflect upon our shortcomings, our enemies (be they people, possessions or ourselves), and our sorrows. Once we recognize what these are, we can turn to the Lord and find comfort in his deliverance. He sees our afflictions. He knows the anguish gripping our very souls. God has the power to redeem us for "the Lord preserves the faithful . . ."
Let us use this Lenten season to meditate upon our weaknesses and sorrows, those things which cause us suffering. Let us ask God to ". . . deliver me in your righteousness . . . be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me." Let us make these forty days a time to recommit and strengthen our devotion to God, repenting of our sins. Giving thanks for the price Jesus paid for them so that we might be forgiven.
Can you list those things in your life which bring you suffering and sorrow? During the Lenten season, will you read your Bible daily, letting the Scriptures remind you of Jesus' sacrifice for the forgiveness of your sins? Can you spend time in daily prayer, thanking God for his love and deliverance?
Eternal God, thank you for the guidance, refuge, mercy, and deliverance you have provided for me. Help me to be your faithful servant and to always be mindful of your presence and love. In Christ's name, I pray. Amen.
Psalm 31 or 35