For the Fourth Week in Lent, here is another short Lenten reflection by my friend Scott Erdenberg of Church of the Shepherd in Hyde Park, Chicago. This will probably work best if you give yourself about 10 minutes away from hustle and bustle. Maybe you could ask someone to join you. Begin by reading Psalm 27, followed by the reflection. Then ask yourself the questions at the end, which are meant to take this exercise from reflection to action. Peace to you as we draw closer in our Story to the death of Christ.
Turn and Trust
Every time I’ve encountered this Psalm I’ve been faced with an unrelenting question: do you honestly trust God completely, or do you prefer to be in control when life or circumstances send your mind and heart into a nosedive? The psalmist has surrendered any confidence that he has reserved for himself and instead put all of his chips on the fact that God will vindicate him. At the same time, the psalmist has refused to make his trust and confidence passive or assumed. Over and over he turns and fixes his eyes on God, pleading for his help, asking for his guidance, and waiting with active expectation.
As we walk through this season of death and repentance, we are called over and again to examine where we have sought our own comfort or placed our confidence in our own efforts to make it through stressful days. God invites us to pray with the psalmist as he reorients his heart to face God and seek his face. We are not called to ignore our problems, adversity or stress – instead, we are encouraged to pay attention to all of these knowing that God has our back.
How about you? When you face adversity in life, is it your natural response to turn to God in trust, or do you try to manage it yourself? Describe the outcome of both? How did Jesus respond to adversity in his life? How could you cultivate a deeper sense of God's presence with you, even in the midst of conflict? In what tangible way could you turn and trust in God, to repent and believe the Good News, today?