March 9, 2016
by Theresa Abbott
Creighton University's Student Health Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 246

Isaiah 49:8-15
Psalm 145:8-9, 13cd-14, 17-18
John 5:17-30

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Daily Lent Prayer

“I will never forget you.” (Isaiah 49:15)

Recently, my husband and I went on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.  With much of Israel being a barren desert, it is easy to see how one can be scorched by the wind or the sun and become hungry and thirsty while walking through the desert.  Emotionally, one could feel trapped, lonely, and empty with no where to turn and no one to turn to for help. The people Zion felt forsaken and forgotten by the Lord through out their desert experience.  They may have even questioned, “Lord, where are you and why can we not feel your presence?”  The Lord told Isaiah that there would be a road through all the mountains. Visiting the Valley of the Shadow of Death, I can now visualize that road.  I can imagine that road being there for me during my desert experiences but I would not be hungry, thirsty, or exhausted. I would not be forgotten because the Lord is with me. He is my hope and my encouragement leading me through my desert experiences to green pastures and besides springs of water.  

Psalm 145 reminds me of God’s promises. The Lord is compassionate toward all his works and faithful in all his words. The Lord lifts up all who are falling and is near to all who call upon Him. God will work in and through every desert situation to bring good from it.

Each of us likely has had a desert experience.  I can confidently say that we will get through every “desert experience”.  I know the Lord hears our cries and looks on us with compassion.  He is always at work bringing us peace amidst the messiness of life. His words are spirit and life and He speaks those words of love into our ears and offers us his wisdom, guidance, hope and encouragement.  We no longer have to be alone, empty, and trapped in our desert experiences.  Even if a mother should forget her infant, the Lord says “I will never forget you” (Isaiah 49:15).  Let me repeat that last line. “I will never forget you” says the Lord.

Father God, in your great mercy, you answer me with a love that never fails.  Grant me perseverance, that in every circumstance of life, I may see and follow you.  I trust in you and believe in your promises.  Lead me out of darkness when I hear your voice saying “come out”.  Help me to stay strong in my faith and draw closer to you each day.
 In Jesus’ name, I pray.

Reflection Question: How can I similarly be a light to another person struggling in darkness with encouraging messages of hope to “come out” and be set free?

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