Lent Day 4 – Heavy Souls

Psalm 42
As the deer pants for the water brooks,

So pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
While they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”

When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
With the voice of joy and praise,
With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him
For the help of His countenance.

O my God, my soul is cast down within me;
Therefore I will remember You from the land of the Jordan,
And from the heights of Hermon,
From the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His loving-kindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.

I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
While they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”

Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
For I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.

A reminder that I am posting ONE of the Daily office readings a day here, with a brief reflection throughout Lent. You can read the rest of the Bible readings fort he day by clicking here 

Today I have posted Psalm 42. This psalm is a deep prayer of the heart. A longing for the assurance of a God who often seems far off, aloof, or even absent. The psalmist here is parched and thirsty and lamenting a real and tangible loneliness.  The bowls of tears are plenteous and they are given voice in this psalm… “Where is you God?” Later the psalmist’s enemies ask the same question. Ultimately the psalmist is crying out the same question.  Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me?” The Psalmist concludes by articulating, perhaps by ritual habit, “Hope in God; for I shall yet praise him, the help of my countenance and my God.” 

Question to consider:
Surely you have been in that parched and broken place. That place where your ‘tears have been your food day and night.’ You too have longed for the relief that comes with the ‘possibility of God’ (to use and expression of John Caputo). I have been in that place more than once in my life. You may be in that place today? When your soul is or has been cast down, your spirit disquieted, what are the questions, pleas, longings that come from the deepest part of you? What ‘possibilities of God’ sustain you?  

Bonus Reading…. 
Today the Church remembers  Janani Luwun, Archbishop of Uganda who was murdered on this day by the government of Idi Amin. Luwum was dragged away from a court that cried out for his killing. He was not given any opportunity to respond. He had spoken out against the terror of a government that was violent and corrupt. He died following Jesus and the way of nonviolence. You can read about his powerful witness by clicking here.


One thought on “Lent Day 4 – Heavy Souls

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  1. I love this psalm and I have met with despair. I asked to come closer to God, to hear His voice. One night I was so desperate, I came downstairs and sat on a cold November night in 1981, at 4am to ask for help, to give God my burden. Within minutes, I felt covered by a warm blanket and a hand was on mine. I was a bit scared and in awe but that experience of God sustained me and lifted my worries from me.

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