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Lenten Devotion March 4

By: Noelle Melton
Readings: Psalm 32; Joshua 4:14-24; 2 Corinthians 5:6-15

A season is a long time to be courageous. Especially when it comes to our faith, which is a personal experience for each of us. Lent allows us to stop and reflect. And today’s readings explore our courage in our faith at various levels.

At first glance, Psalm 32 is a simple guide calling us to turn to God. But it’s also a call to be faithful. To be bold. To trust God more than we trust ourselves. For me, this is a huge challenge. I’m not known for asking for help, for saying I can’t fix this on my own, for expecting someone else to carry the full load. This requires some serious courage on my part. But God calls us to do this, and more importantly, offers it to us as a gift.

If that’s hard for me (or us), then what is being described in Joshua is audacious. Parting rivers, risking lives, and simply having faith that it all goes well. It may sound like the trailer of an action movie more than scripture that sheds light on our daily lives. But we are being asked to be so daring – to really, truly trust in God that much. To remember that God is larger than life, larger than our biggest fears, larger than we can imagine or process.

In Corinthians 2, Paul continues to push us, assertively saying we prefer to “walk by faith not by sight.” Perhaps not a daredevil Joshua-like challenge, but to prefer blindness or lack of proof? My immediate thought is “yikes, Paul, speak for yourself.” This may be the greatest courage challenge. To see ourselves one day confidently walking in our faith without yearning for proof or a second opinion. Yet, God is by our side. What more of a safety net do we need?

Lord, our faith encounters so many obstacles. There is so much to be afraid of in this world, it can make us doubt our faith. And we can be so stubborn in relinquishing control and trusting you, that we undermine our faith in your work. Continue to walk with us. Remind us of your presence. Teach us to be confident with you by our side. In your name we pray. Amen.

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