Study: Reflect on a moment when you were in a critical need. What pulled you through?
Pray: Ask the Lord for grace regarding a difficult situation.
Serve: How can you be a helping hand to another?
Let’s take a look at these readings that help us kick off Lent:
- 1st Reading – a recap of how God saved the Israelites in Egypt
- Psalm – “Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble.”
- 2nd Reading – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
- Gospel – Jesus overcomes the Devil’s 3 temptations
Have you ever been in trouble? Serious trouble? End of your rope? Lost? Confused? Abandoned? Scared? Feeling like you cannot breathe because the air has gone out of your chest? Feeling utterly alone?
You’re in good company. People of faith for over 3000 years have called upon the Lord in their darkest moments – seeking guidance and strength.
And God provides. We don’t have to look very hard to find examples of pain and suffering, hardship and loss, struggle, catastrophe and sin. We also know that there are no promises that life will be easy and free from pain. What we know is simple: God walks with us and sustains us in our moments of need.
Of course this is only a half truth – God walks with us always! God never leaves us, but for some very human reason we seem to call out loud and strong when we recognize our need for the Lord. Isn’t it odd that we “get it” when we are in need…that many of us who dedicate our lives to Christ see much more clearly when the truth is self-evident?
Perhaps not. Perhaps what this first week of Lent shows us is that our need for God (always present in our lives) is most easily observed when we cannot hide from our need. For when we are in trouble, we are confronted with the clear and obvious reality that it is only with the Lord’s grace that we can be guided and sustained. In the times of our testing we discover both our limitations and the Lord’s love.
What are you facing in your life right now? What requires your own personal admission and acceptance of Christ’s mercy? Be with me, Lord, when I am in trouble!
If you are looking for more material to help you this Lent, you might consider this list of presentations I have offered over the last couple of years. Feel free to check it out and share if you find it helpful:
Note: this post was first published on February 9, 2016.