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Lent 6

‘You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you.’                                                                                                  (Psalm 91: 1-3a)

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? I remember hearing this as a kid; a riddle that would draw me off into deep ponderings of the miracle of life. How can you have a chicken without an egg; an egg without a chicken? Which came first?

The same question might be asked of the Psalm writer. Which comes first, trust in God or an awareness of God’s presence which leads to trust? I trust God because I know God can be trusted.

I am always amazed at the incredible wisdom and faith children possess. They see miracles where I cannot; in an ant or a flower. They see joy where I see challenge; the sweet taste of honey on sticky fingers. They see gift where I see a mess; sheer glee of jumping in a mud puddle. They seem to trust even when such trust has not been earned, or when experience upon which to base it has not yet been lived.

Those who position themselves close to God know well the goodness and mercy that God provides so generously for our living. But what is even more amazing is that, by grace, God comes to even those who do not. The “everlasting arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27) are long, indeed, and the reach of God’s redeeming love so much farther than any boundary we, or even sin, can ever mount.

The gift is free, always. That is what the cross of Jesus was all about. But only those who choose to receive the gift, to “unwrap” it, wrap themselves in it, and let it change their lives will discover and learn that the gift can always be trusted.

I trust the Lord for has delivered me? He delivers me because I trust in him? Who knows?  But the falsehood of the converse is clearer. If I do not trust in him, I will lean on my own strength, my own initiative, and life experience has shown me all too often that this alone cannot stand me against the hardships of life.

When life drives me to my knees in prayer and I cannot even find strength to trust, somehow God gives even me that too. Could it be that like water from a stone (it’s a Moses thing!) God cracks open the stone of  my heart to let his trust flow in, through, and from me? Again, who knows? But, thanks be to God, anyway!

Prayer: Lord Jesus, in you I trust, and in those times I don’t trust? Lord, I trust you to trust for us both. In your holy and precious name, I pray. Amen

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