Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
NM 21:4-9/JN 8:21-30
As I sit here writing this reflection, the world around us is in a state unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. It seems as if every day there’s another shocking statistic released, more social distancing rules to follow, and another event cancelled or postponed. My immediate reactions are fear about what’s to come tomorrow, anger that my consistent schedules and plans are getting messed up, and sadness about the communities I love breaking apart and separating for awhile. In the midst of this, I find myself wondering, “Where are you God? Where are you in the midst of this?” And with the psalmist saying, "Hide not your face from me, in the day of my distress." In such an unprecedented time as this, it’s no wonder why we’re left grasping for God in the unknown.
However, the psalm also reminds us of God's presence and attentiveness to our needs in times of distress, even when it is hard to see his presence. The Lord is with us and he will "rebuild" us as a people. In times like this, let us remember with the psalmist how God is present, and have the confidence to come to him in prayer knowing that he listens and responds to our needs. He knew, of course, of the troubling waters we’d encounter and that our faith would indeed be pushed and pulled to our limits. Yet in the midst of all of this, He is with us. This is neither past or future tense, grammatically speaking, but rooted in the present chaos and struggles we’re enduring real-time.
While it’s hard to imagine what fruit this season will bear, we know that wherever God is, goodness flows. In this Lenten season of trials and suffering, let us remember His greater purpose and unending love no matter what part of the path we’re currently encountering.