March 25th Lenten Devotional

Gone Astray

Tricia Stuart Jacobs

Psalm 119:167-176


I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek out your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been lost during my life.  Lost, both literally and figuratively, as even in my childhood I would wander away from my parents when shopping.  I would hear “would the parents of the lost little girl please report to the customer service desk.”  My Mom would remind me of how important it is to stay with her at all times, a commandment.

During Lent of 2016 I found myself very lost as I had a deadline looming to defend my doctoral dissertation.  I would wake up at 3 am with visions of my thesis blowing away with the wind and I felt lost.  One day I met with my field advisor, Mike, and of course shared my feeling of sheer panic.  In a kind, but directive voice he said, “Tricia, the best dissertation is a finished dissertation, get it done.” I heard his commandment and I left our meeting that day with a determination I hadn’t known before.

The commandment to “get it done” would carry me to my defense date and will always be proof to me that God’s faithful commandments form and shape us to be our strongest and most alive. Now, I’m not elevating my advisor to God status, but just like a student needs the advisor, we as the lost sheep need God’s voice to call us back to the path of abundant life.


Rev. Dr. Tricia Jacobs is the Senior Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Waterloo, Iowa.

©2017 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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