Week One Devotion – Lost in the Wilderness
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer;
and by night, but find no rest…… Psalm 22. 1, 2,
There are times in all our lives when we feel like expressing these words from the Psalmist of ancient times. Sometimes it is because we have faced personal tragedy and sometimes it is because of the suffering we experience in the world around us. Then we want to change the words slightly to – ‘My God why have you forsaken us.’ The earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the ongoing war in Ukraine, the increasing poverty in this country all cause us to cry out to God for help. It can sometimes feel like we are struggling to find God because we are so emotionally charged. We rant, we cry desperately, we become paralysed emotionally and somehow struggle with the listening element of prayer. Even when we try desperately to pray our minds will not rest from the turmoil within.
In my experience at times like these we need to find a different way into hearing the voice of God. Listening for God in the voices and actions of others can restore our ability to find our loving Lord. For example, we are able to witness daily the way in which communities have responded to the reality of fuel poverty. Throughout our communities, businesses, community councils, charities and churches have set up warm spaces often with free food and warm drinks. Spending time in fellowship with others in these community ventures is one way of reconnecting with God through the reflected love shown by those who serve him (whether consciously or unconsciously).
Alternatively it can be listening to someone else talk about their faith and their spiritual experiences which gives us a route into hearing again the voice of God. As we begin Lent, we are presented with a variety of ways to connect with the faith of others. You could commit to reading a devotional book which has a passage for each day throughout Lent. You could join in a Lent discussion group either in person or on-line. If you have been finding it difficult to attend church in person due to health concerns or the weather, maybe Lent this year is the time to reconnect with worship in person.
Whatever way is accessible to you, Lent is the perfect time to search out news ways to connect with God so that
‘Why have you forsaken me’
‘And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9. 10
With all my love and prayers for a peaceful and holy Lent.