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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 16             

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
   I have no good apart from you.”

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,
   in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;
   their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
   or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
   you hold my lot.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
   I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
   in the night also my heart instructs me.
I keep the Lord always before me;
   because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
   my body also rests secure.
For you do not give me up to Sheol,
   or let your faithful one see the Pit.

You show me the path of life.
   In your presence there is fullness of joy;
   in your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (NRSV)

There is a quote I love by C. S. Lewis: “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

The instincts that arise inside of me, I would like to hope, have guided me throughout the biggest decisions in my life thus far, and I attribute that to God’s constant whispers. In this psalm, David writes “You make known to me the path of life.” I feel so often that my path in life, whether that be a conversation I need to have with a family member, a decision at work, any “path” or direction that I need from God, is spoken in my conscience.

As C. S. Lewis notes, so often God needs to use a megaphone to speak with us, especially when we are in pain. Imagine how much simpler things would be if we were able to hear the whispers first. I believe in order to be constantly filled with joy in God’s presence as the psalm says, we must first be willing to hear the whispers, whether they are the answers we want or not; only then will I remain steady, knowing my “path of life” is being directed just as it should.

Lord, my days are busy, filled with noise that constantly holds your word against the world’s. I pray that in this moment you help me stop and tune into your whispers of direction as my day unfolds moment by moment. I thank you for always offering your direction, even when I refuse to listen to it, and I pray that you never stop showing me how I can be used daily for your glory. Amen.

Written by Ashley Elskus, Director of the Center for Life and Learning

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