In you, Lord, have I taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue and deliver me, turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.   Psalm 71:1-3

The first three verses of Psalm 71 stand out as a balm to our weary souls. Despite anything that may happen in the world around us, God is still our refuge, our strength, and a strong landing place. During this Lenten season, picturing God as a safe space brought astounding comfort.

I tried to formulate an explanation of the Lenten season to our young daughters this year, which was a challenge. Just like I would guess many of us feel, they are happy to jump right from the Wise Men to Easter Morning, forgoing a season of penitence altogether. Our family’s struggle with embracing Lent this year seems selfish, but I couldn’t bring myself to turn our attention to our own sin when negativity surrounds us at every turn.

Psalm 71 reminds me that our Lenten focus need not revolve solely around the negative. Instead, turning our hearts to God as our refuge can provide comfort in an already challenging time. I encourage our daughters not to look at Lent this year as a time to take something else away; goodness knows they have missed out on enough over the past twelve months. In this season, we can focus our attention on God as our steady foundation in an unsettling world.

Psalm 70, Psalm 71, Psalm 74; Jeremiah 4:9-10, 19-28; Romans 2:12-24; John 5:19-29