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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, August 27, 2019           

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 71:1–6

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
   let me never be put to shame.
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me;
   incline your ear to me and save me.
Be to me a rock of refuge,
   a strong fortress, to save me,
   for you are my rock and my fortress.

Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked,
   from the grasp of the unjust and cruel.
For you, O Lord, are my hope,
   my trust, O Lord, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from my birth;
   it was you who took me from my mother’s womb.
My praise is continually of you. (NRSV)

Reflection
The psalmist in today’s reading is advancing in age. He shares his innermost fear that God will leave him and cast him away at this time of his life. The psalmist pleads to God that he doesn’t want to be abandoned now. He claims that God has been his hope since birth and that he has trusted him to protect him since he was young. God has always been his refuge. He is begging God to stay with him, listen to him, deliver him from evil, and not forsake him, as he needs him now.

Like the psalmist, we, too, have fears. Real or unreal, they cause uncertainty. Sometimes it’s the fear of the unknown or the future. Or the fear of a change in a relationship or behavior of someone close to us.

Maybe a child or youth is fearful about starting a new school, whether they will like the teachers, the curriculum, or the other students. Or perhaps it’s a person beginning their first job or a new one. Will it be as promised, will I be able to adapt to a new culture, what about the commute?

It could be a fracture in the family structure. What did I say or do to cause that reaction from a family member? Or why is my best friend acting differently or spending more time with other people?

Lastly, maybe it’s a health scare, an unusual symptom, a questionable test report, or feelings of decline.

Prayer
Dear God, like the psalmist, help us to reaffirm that you are always with us, that you are our hope, our supporter, and that you will be with us to address whatever our next situation in life will be. Amen.

Written by Pamela Block, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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