Lent Devotional: Vision

“Whoever you are, you are human. Wherever you are, you live in the world, which is waiting for you to notice the holiness in it.”

-Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World

Where is your vision focused today?

It is tempting, in the midst of troubles and uncertainty, to gaze toward an unknown horizon, one we imagine to be full of misfortune, fear and worry. We may wonder today, “where is God in all of this?” We may lament that it feels like there is no hope, it feels so overwhelming. If we have learned nothing else in this time of pandemic and so many canceled plans, we cannot control the future as much as we wish we could.

After enduring many trials and tragedies, a man named Job in the Bible faced many temptations to reject God. He remained steady in his faith. In Job 27, he exclaims “as long as breath is in me and God’s breath is in my nostrils – my lips will utter no wickedness.”

And so, dear friends, I ask you to draw your vision to the here and now, to this present moment. Be here now.

In this present moment, God is with you. God’s breath is in your nostrils. In this present moment we have our breath, an opportunity to breathe deeply and be still.

God is still good. God is still the God of hope. I urge you not to get caught up in the temptation to fall into fear and worry. While we cannot control our future, in this very moment we can sit in stillness and be thankful.

Consider these words from Paul’s letter to the Philippians:

“Be glad in the Lord always! Again I say, be glad! Let your gentleness show in your treatment of all people. The Lord is near. Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.

From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise. Practice these things: whatever you learned, received, heard, or saw in us. The God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:4-8 CEB

Cast your eyes on Christ in this moment, and be thankful. May the God of peace be with you.

Prayer: Holy God, thank you for the breath in our lungs today. Thank you for the gift of this new day. We embrace your presence in this moment and trust you to care for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scriptures: Philippians 4 and Psalm 31:7-16

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