Lent 2013: Third Sunday

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It's not uncommon for me to complain inwardly against God when I think of how the lives of many are poured out like dust: born into famine, poverty, war, oppression, slavery, prostitution. The exploitative use of some to serve the desires of those with greater power.

            Does God notice when the oppressed are trampled?

            Can He see the injustice that tortures the earth?

The inward groaning of my heart so often seems to be: "God, where are you?", and while I don't think there is anything wrong with asking Him this, it's usually not really Him I'm asking at all. Instead, I'm gripping on to the question and responding out of my despair: "He is nowhere to be found".

Finding myself trusting in my own weak judgement rather than putting my hope in the only One who is true, I am in essence giving in to hopelessness. In this place of darkness I can see only death. God becomes to me nothing more than my limited expectations of who He is and what He is capable of accomplishing. Do I not know? Have I not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

In the absence of trust in God's goodness and power, paradoxically, I am also limiting my expectations for those who are downtrodden. Instead of having vision for the full restoration that the Lord desires for all creation, my eyes can see very little hope for those whose lives I most long to see restored.

My prayer for us over this lenten season will be that our dear Saviour, Counsellor, Creator and Friend, who is the author of justice, will continue to heal our vision even as we seek to engage in the brokenness of this world. That we will put our trust in Him, knowing beyond any doubt that His love gives strength to the weary and power to the weak, and that in Him we can accomplish the restoration work He has planned.

- Suzanne Mingus