March 21st Lenten Devotional

Seeking a Sign

Murray Everett Phillips

Psalm 86:16-17

When the stress of life begins to overwhelm, to whom do you turn? For those who believe in rugged individualism, one perhaps views him or herself as an “island” a rock who stands alone. Still others may see a need to lean on other people which is a model of family or community, even if it is not perfect. I often think of situations where there is an unhealthy co-dependency that enables more than supports.

Lest we believe modern life to be hectic and we’ve no where to turn, centuries earlier, King David faced many stressful situations. As a member of his predecessor Saul’s court, he was a victim of extreme jealousy from the king that forced him to run for his life. Later, in his own palace, David had to escape from his son Absalom who sought his life.

In David’s worst moments, he turned to the one source who provides relief. He turned to God. Psalm 86, is a prayer for deliverance from personal enemies. The concluding two verses are David’s closing request for safety, strength, and a sign that God is at work providing help and protection.

Are we open to praying boldly during our time of personal trial? Do we have faith that such prayer will be answered? Maybe we refrain because we have a tinge of guilt that such requests seems selfish and self-serving. However, we follow a Creator who knows us and loves us unconditionally. Therefore, it is acceptable to bring our hopes, fears, and wishes to him in prayer.

Lord, no matter whether my current state is good or bad, give me confidence to always come to you in prayer. Amen.

Murray Phillips is pastor of the North Lincoln Parish (PCUSA) in Whiteside, MO as well as an institution chaplain for the MO Department of Corrections and the U.S. Army Reserves.

©2020 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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