Lenten Devotional: March 23

Psalm 42; Psalm 43; Psalm 83; Psalm 85; Psalm 86; Jeremiah 10:11-24;
Romans 5:12-21
; John 8:21-32

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God? Psalm 42:2

The answer actually lies right in these two lines. The living God is present all around us, in every leaf and bird and tree and child. We are made in the image of God and therefore we should see God reflected in those all around us. All too often, it is “expedient” or our “first reaction” to focus on the negative about those with whom we do not agree. I am as guilty as anyone.

When can we meet God? When we are ready to look past the negatives and focus on the beauty that is God’s creation all around us. We can meet God in every minute of every day. In every smile, in every thought of gratitude and joy, in the warmth of a sunbeam, in savoring a quiet moment watching a doe and her fawn slip across your front yard, in taking time for prayer and praise.

It has been easy for many of us during the past year to see only ugliness and pain. And there has certainly been so much of that in the world, with horrible acts of terrorism, wars, racism and religious divisiveness. Of course, our soul thirsts for God. We are parched. It is time to refocus, to work at it till it becomes second nature, to see beauty, and joy, and praise, and gratitude for all God’s wonderful gifts that are still here. They haven’t gone anywhere; we just need to redirect our attention to them, especially in this time of Lent, as we ponder the ultimate gift He gave us, the death of Jesus on the cross to save us from our sins.