By Christin Ditchfield Lazo

A Reading from Psalm 42

1 As the deer longs for the water-brooks,
so longs my soul for you, O God.

2 My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God;
when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

3 My tears have been my food day and night,
while all day long they say to me,
Where now is your God?”

4 I pour out my soul when I think on these things;
how I went with the multitude and led them into the
house of God,

5 With the voice of praise and thanksgiving,
among those who keep holy-day.

6 Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul?
and why are you so disquieted within me?

7 Put your trust in God;
for I will yet give thanks to him,
who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

8 My soul is heavy within me;
therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan,
and from the peak of Mizar among the heights of Hermon.

9 One deep calls to another in the noise of your cataracts;
all your rapids and floods have gone over me.

10 The LORD grants his loving-kindness in the daytime;
in the night season his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.

11 I will say to the God of my strength,
“Why have you forgotten me?
and why do I go so heavily while the enemy
oppresses me?”

12 While my bones are being broken,
my enemies mock me to my face;

13 All day long they mock me
and say to me, “Where now is your God?”

14 Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul?
and why are you so disquieted within me?

15 Put your trust in God;
for I will yet give thanks to him,
who is the help of my countenance, and my God.

Meditation

Many of us have been reflecting lately on the difference a year can make. How drastically, dramatically, and suddenly the world — and our own lives —  can change. We have shed more tears than we can count. We have grieved losses we could not have imagined.

We remember happier days in the not-so-distant past — so many blessings we often took for granted — and wonder if things will ever be the same again.

It’s kind of comforting to realize that thousands of years ago, the psalmist felt this way. He, too, wrestled with grief and pain, hurt and heartache and disappointment. With great sadness, he remembered the way things used to be, and struggled to believe they would ever get better.

It’s really comforting to realize that we have the same hope, the same help that he did.

Our hope is in God. Our help comes from the Lord. He is our protector and provider. He is our rock — the psalmist reminds himself and us — our strength, our security, our stability. He is our salvation.

The heartache we’ve been through causes us to hunger for more of him — more of his love, his power, his peace, his presence. All of these things, he promises to give us. These and so much more.

As we come to the close of our Lenten journey, let’s take a page from the psalmist’s song book. Yes, we can be real and honest with God about where we’ve been, where we are. But we don’t have to stay there.

Let’s speak to our own souls — and to others’ — with words of hope and faith and courage. Remember God’s goodness and faithfulness in the past. Declare our trust in his goodness and  faithfulness here and now. Look forward to the future, when we will again “join the joyful throng”… we will again praise him!

Christin Ditchfield Lazo, M.A. (Bible and Theology), is a best-selling author, conference speaker, and syndicated radio host, passionate about calling believers to a deeper life of faith.

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Daily Devotional Cycle of Prayer

Today we pray for:

Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York, N.Y.
The Diocese of Barbados (Church in the Province of the West Indies)