Monday, February 25, 2013

A Lenten Reflection for February 25, 2013

Be gracious to me, O God, for people trample on me; all day long foes oppress me;
my enemies trample on me all day long, for many fight against me. O Most High,
when I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me? (Psalm 56:1-4)

Fear is a powerful force. It can cause a person to seek protection, to react in anger, or to run screaming in terror. Fear is not a neutral emotion—it seeks resolution.

So, when I am afraid, I can put my trust in any number of places:

I can trust my political party to defeat all others and preserve what I hold dear.

I can trust my preferred legislators so that the things I own for the sake of protection will never be ripped from my hands (unless they are cold and dead).

I can trust my religious leaders to identify my doctrinal enemies and remind me that heresy is defined as suggesting an idea that I don’t already know.

I can trust my belief system and nail it to my door so that I can measure myself against my enemies of the faith.

I can trust my employer to care for me from the cradle to the grave.

I can trust my government to do the same.

I can trust my army to overpower all others.

I can trust my wise investment strategies to preserve the life to which I am accustomed, even when the enemies of finance rape and pillage the economy.

And then, in the midst of attackers brandishing swords, spears, and arrows, the Psalmist shatters my ill-placed trusts and calls me to a place that is vulnerable and yet free from fear:

In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I am not afraid; what can flesh do to me?

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