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Reflection for Thursday 18 Feb 2020

Ground to Dust

When I was studying at university for ministry one of the books in the bible we reflected on was Job. A study on how we cope or do not cope with suffering. Whether our own or that of others.

And the question raised over and over is, how can a God of love, allow such things to happen?

The Scripture passage for today finds us listening to Job as he makes know to God how he is feeling as he reaches the end of his tether. ( Job 30-16-23 )

We focus on one verse, “And now my life ebbs away, days of suffering grip me”

The pain of Job’s cries resounds through history in the laments of faithful people in every generation. Like Jesus from the cross, that sometimes make us cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

During Lent there is an invitation to lay our souls bare before God. We are not alone, for just like Job, The Psalmist, the Prophets and Jesus, there are times when we are confounded in our understanding of a good and faithful God.

When we hear of news across the world, or learn of the terminal illness of a loved one, or we struggle with our own ill health, we shout like Job, “ I have become like dust and ashes. I cry out to you and you do not answer me. Do something God! Intervene! Give a sign. Speak in a way I can understand.”

And…………there is silence………..God does not answer……..and we feel ground to dust.

St John of the cross describes this state in “Dark night of the Soul”

Have you been there? To that place of darkness?

I have………….and I know of others who have been there too…………of others who re in that place this very day.

There are many who have fallen into this place during the pandemic.

For Job, there is no comfort, not from his wife, or from his friends, he alone must face the grief, own up to his feelings of loss and he continues to cry out to God, prayers from the depths of his heart.

“Why?” How long, O Lord?” “Where are you God?”

The weeks of Lent are as a gift to us, for they allow us, in the midst of shattered hopes and dreams, and relationships, when all has turned to dust and ashes………. to grieve, to lament, without embarrassment or apology.

And yet………….and yet…………the season of Lent will pass, Eater Sunday will come, Resurrection is promised even when we find ourselves weeping by the tomb.

From the dust of ashes will come new life. The dark cold earth of winter will thaw and spring flowers will burst forth again.

The Light of the risen Christ shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out.

Let us pray,

Gracious God, when we cry out to you and feel as if you do not hear us, remind us of our Lord’s promise never to leave us.

When we feel ground to dust and ashes, surround us with companions will sit with us and pray for us, and be the light of Christ for us along the way.

And, when we are restored again, let us be that Light for others we encounter along the way.

“We are pilgrims on a journey, and companions on the road, we are here to help each other walk the mile and bear the load”

God bless you this day,



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