“As the hind longs for the running water, so my soul longs for you O God.”Psalm 42:1
Are there things in your life that you take for granted? Do you wrestle with God when He challenges you in your faith? Do you retreat back to that comfortable place in your faith journey or do you allow Him to walk with you in the discomfort?
In today’s readings from 2 Kings 5:1-15 and Luke 4:24-30, we see a theme about the works of God’s prophets not being accepted in their native land. Why?
In 2 Kings, the people of Israel had been so accustomed to the works of God and the blessings that they began to take them for granted. When Naaman goes to the king of Israel, the king is unable to recognize the power of God present in Israel and questions the intent of Naaman’s letter asking for healing from leprosy. In the gospel, Jesus confirms this when he tells the people in the synagogue “there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.”
The Psalm today, reminds me of an allegory I read many years ago called “Hinds Feed on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. In the book, the main character Much Afraid makes a decision to leave the Valley of Humiliation and follow the Good Shepherd to the high place where she longs for deliverance from her deformities. The book is a journey of many discomforts for Much Afraid. It is her longing for something more and trust in the Good Shepherd that overcomes all the obstacles in her way.
In the book no matter how much Much Afraid longs for the beauty of being delivered from her deformities, when she is challenged, she wrestles with whether she should continue on the journey or turn back. The Good Shepherd comes to her aid in these moments she is challenged to help her continue the journey. He doesn’t necessarily remove the obstacle that she is wrestling with but he helps her to push past it and continue the journey.
In the readings, we hear about the comforts in our native land, our own hearts and that we don’t always accept or hear Jesus’ voice in that comfort. In the Psalm, we hear a longing for God. When these two meet within us, we begin to wrestle in our journey.
So today, perhaps our invitation is to ask the question am I wrestling with discomfort as I journey through the path God placed me on during this Lenten season? If I am, how can I press forward and not retreat back to my comfortable place in my spirituality. Change can be uncomfortable but it’s in that discomfort that we recognize the power of God in our lives. Just like in the readings, when we take things for granted, we don’t recognize the power of God in our native place, our heart. It’s in the wrestling that we see it clearer.
Lord, I come to You in this point in my journey to be awaken through the discomforts of this Lenten journey. Those discomforts that will deliver the greatest changes in my spirituality. Help me in the wrestling to see You more clearly and to see the grace and glory You have waiting for me on Easter.