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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 85:8–13     

Let me hear what God the Lord will speak,
   for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful,
   to those who turn to him in their hearts.
Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him,
   that his glory may dwell in our land.

Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet;
   righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Faithfulness will spring up from the ground,
   and righteousness will look down from the sky.
The Lord will give what is good,
   and our land will yield its increase.
Righteousness will go before him,
   and will make a path for his steps. (NRSV)

Reflection
Throughout my college experience, I had the privilege to have my privilege called out and shaken to its core. I sat with and engaged with communities affected by extreme poverty, natural disasters, war, and displacement.

When I chose to step outside my comfort zone and my sheltering bubble, I learned about the strength and courage so many of these communities sustained despite the horrific experiences they endured.

Typically these communities were of the Christian faith, and even though they didn’t always have the food, shelter, or resources they so desperately deserved, they did have a strong faith. They continuously prayed to God for peace, and also knew God would one day respond. To have that strong conviction, to be confident that God still loved you despite the horrible conflicts in today’s world, that is what today’s psalm speaks to.

In today’s psalm there is a true sense of trust that God will provide. Those who rest their faith and trust in God will be cared for, no matter what challenges they face. I realize that all too often I get caught up in all the ways my life is lacking, but then I think back on engaging with communities that had near to nothing, and they still saw their life as full because God was protecting them through the storms. So perhaps I need to trust that God is already providing for me and preparing me for a worthwhile journey of both challenge and joy.

Prayer
Nurturing and providing God, help me find peace in what I have and in the things I think I lack. Help me strengthen my faith in you and be thankful for your infinite care. Amen.

Written by Jackie Lorens Harris, Director, Chicago Lights Elam Davies Social Service Center

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