Lenten Meditation 38, April 7

Friday, April 7

Psalm 31:9-16
Job 13:13-19
Philippians 1:21-30

by The Rev. Shelley Denney

Psalm 31:9-16

Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; my eye is consumed with sorrow…fear is all around…But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. I have said, “You are my God…Make your face to shine upon your servant, and in your loving-kindness save me.”

We all have those times…when our “eye is consumed with sorrow” or when “fear is all around.” Following Jesus – in fact, believing in God – is no guarantee that the sorrows and fears of life will not surround us. They are part of all human life. But how do we respond when they hit?

The psalmist takes full, poetic advantage of the opportunity to give voice to his frustration, anger, hatred, and despair. But weaving in through these tumultuous feelings is a thread of hope that his trust in God will see him through, that God will, in fact, be his “strong rock, a castle to keep [him] safe.”

Our Presiding Bishop, The Most Rev. Michael Curry wrote, “Faith is the key to living life in the Spirit. It is God’s job to keep watch, it is our job to keep the faith.” In the depths of our pain, it is our job to hold on to a shred of hope. That may be the hardest thing we ever have to do. But it gives meaning to life and to the process of navigating our pain.

This was true even for Jesus, who cried out the words of Psalm 31 just before he died. “Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Having said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46).