Pastor’s Devotions #118

“One Wind Swept January Day”

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.”
Psalm 39:4

 

It was all gone. Houses turned to match sticks. Memories and belongings turned to rubble. A surprise January tornado struck an unsuspecting town in Alabama. One life was lost. 30 people injured. A destructive pathway was cut through the heart of the town and left an unbelievable wake of wreckage behind. Lives were shattered, tattered and torn to shreds.

Here I stand, on that same January day, mudding and taping and sanding dry wall in my guest house. I have been working and refining for hours – a nick here, and bubble there, a scar sanded away. Such a different experience. I’m watching the eagles fly, while others watched their homes fly. It seems surreal. But who is to say what tomorrow might bring? In one brief moment, surprising winds could whip up on Camano Island and take down a tree and tear through my home. So many things in this world can be ripped right out from under us, just as it did for the people of the crimson tide.   

Tomorrow, we begin the Season of Lent. Lent is to be a time of deep reflection and clearer perspective regarding one’s faith. Tomorrow night, at our Ash Wednesday Worship service – we will be reading probing Scriptures to help us reflect upon the condition and pace of our walk of faith.

We will read about David, looking deeply into his own life as he wrote Psalm 39. He writes, “Lordremind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeting away.” He continues, “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends to nothing.” He concludes the psalm with these words, “Hear my prayer, O LORD! Listen to my cries for help! Don’t ignore my tears. For I am your guest – a traveler passing through, as my ancestors were before me. Spare me so I can smile again before I am gone and exist no more.”

Yes, we are travelers passing through. So many things can be taken from us in this uncertain world. But one thing can never be torn away. One thing remains certain. The love of God, shown through his Son, Jesus Christ. Lent concludes with Holy Week. And Holy Week concludes with Easter Sunday. All of our reflections and journeys are to lead us to the clear and certain perspective that life is finally, truly found in Him. And the truth is, nothing can separate us from that love in Christ Jesus. We remain safe and secure when we receive Jesus’ final words from Matthew’s Gospel: “Surely, I am with you ALWAYS, to the end of the age.”

No matter what winds are whipped up, may the wind of the Holy Spirit sweep through this Lenten Season and bring you greater strength and greater ability to stand.

Hope to see you tomorrow – Ash Wednesday Worship – 7 p.m.

God Bless You All,
Pastor Mark