We all experience seasons of life that wring us out. These are times of wilderness where we tread through tangles of uncertainty, pain, frustration, and loss. Seeds of desolation take root in our spirits. We wonder where our help will come from.
David, the author of Psalm 86, was no...
Bend your ear to us, O God, and hear our prayers for help. Uproot the feelings of despair that crowd out your light. Be our compass when we’ve lost our sense of direction. Help us find comfort in the shelter of your steadfast love. Amen.
The story of Hagar and Ishmael being cast out from Abraham’s house reminds us that even when we are in our darkest hour, God doesn’t abandon us. God is faithful and meets us in the wilderness. The psalmist calls out to God from a place of desperation, yet even in desperation, there is confident hope in God. Paul reminds us that as Christians, we participate in the death and resurrection of Christ. The powers of sin and death no longer have the final say over our lives. Jesus teaches us that discipleship will not be easy, but that God’s care for us is great. It is only when we’re willing to lose our lives that we will find them.
Read Genesis 21:8-21. Consider a time you’ve excluded someone. What do you wish you would have done differently? How might a daily Examen practice help you right the wrongs you caused or learn from your mistakes?
Read Psalm 86:1-10, 16-17. In what ways do you need God’s help in your life today? Consider writing a prayer to more deeply connect with God about your needs.
Read Romans 6:1b-11. Consider the author’s question “What does freedom from sin look like?”
Read Matthew 10:24-39. In what ways have you become too comfortable in your discipleship? Where is God calling you to be more faithful?
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