Lent Day 16: Being Caught by God
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
As many of you are aware schools will be opening soon, if they haven’t already, and this is causing us to feel anxious and nervous about how we should go back or stay at home. We are also running around trying to figure out how to take care of family, work related matters and a host of other tasks. We are working harder at home than when we went into the office. We are even racing through the tv channels to find relief. Allow today to be a day when you stop running from pain, problems, people and even persecution. Let this be a day we remember that Jesus is always with us. Make this the day that we allow Jesus to “catch” us.
The Lord is chasing after you, not to wrestle control from you, but inviting you to surrender control to him and allow him to wrap his arms of love around you.
As we enter our time together today let us rest in the knowledge that God in Christ is coming after us. As great as God’s love and generosity is, we can sometimes run from it because we believe our best efforts are better than God’s mercy. As the scripture below reminds us, there is nowhere we can run from God’s good presence.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? 8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.9 If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, 10 Even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,” 12 even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.
Brueggemann shares his thoughts on being “caught” by God. “Lent is a time to quit running, to let ourselves be caught and embraced in love, like sheep with safe pasture, like a traveler offered rich and unexpected food. Our life is not willed by God to be an endless anxiety. It is, rather meant to be an embrace, but that entails being caught by God.”
The Lord really is, “the portion of my inheritance and my cup.” Where else would I rather be than in the house of God, with God himself all the days of my life.
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple.
“The last line of the 23 Psalm asserts that the true joy and purpose of life are to love God and be loved by God, no longer alone, but in communion."
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord.8 “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.”
During this season it is a time for us see differently.
Brueggemann closes with this thought. “To see past your anxiety, your greed, your fear, your control. See yourself as the sheep of this Good Shepherd, as the traveler in God’s good valley, as the citizen at home in God’s good house. You will, when you see truly, be free and joyous and generous, unencumbered and grateful. Desire one thing: God’s presence. And you will be less driven by all those phony desires that matter not at all.”
“Pursue and catch us, Good Shepherd—embrace us in your love. Help us to trust you and desire you more than anything else, that we may know the joy and freedom of life in you. Amen”