Lenten Devotional: Friday, Feb. 16

by Charles Bressler

Psalm 63:1:
O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.

I have been taught and sermonized that
You are a God
Who cares
Who loves
Who knows the future.
That I am to
Hold your hand
Trust your Word
Believe I am your Beloved child
And all will be well.

But You are a disorientating God.
For you act in ways that
Baffle my logic
Abandon my desires
Disrupt my sense of fairness
Shatter my pride
Greet my words with silence
Confuse my plans
Ignore my tears.

My learned ways of response to You shout that
I have
Not trusted enough
Petitioned enough
Read Your word enough
Believed enough
Hymned enough
Claimed enough.

But You are a Gethsemane Savior:
One who
Sweat blood
Confronted and
Wept in the presence of Your disorientating God.
Through confusion, torment, and pain
Through disorientation, isolation, and shattered desires,
You chose obedience to the Divine
An obedience that led to more disorientation
More suffering
More confusion
More abandonment,
But then sudden and dazzling re-orientation
Through resurrection
With wholeness
With all-encompassing joy
With God.

Disorientating God,
Disorient me,
Usurp my logic,
Disrupt my dreams,
Confound my goals
Anguish my soul
Until like the Lord Jesus Christ
I too receive, experience, and embrace
Yet another divine epiphany:  Your Presence.

Prayer:  Almighty God, you are indeed a disorientating God.  Our souls thirst for you, and our hearts and bodies long for you.  We have prayed, we have worshipped, and we have served your children.  But at times, Sovereign God, it feels as if we are in an abandoned place, and we thirst with nothing to drink.  During this Lenten season, we seek your face, we seek your direction, and we will sit in silence waiting to hear from you.  Do what you will to each of us:  you are the potter, and we are the clay.  Disorient us from the expected, disrupt our dreams, and do whatever it takes in and through us so that we can listen and hear you words and direction for our lives.