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Lent Reflections (6)

Today's three readings:

Psalm 77

Job 4

Ephesians 2: 1 - 10

Not exactly the most jolly selection of stuff to read.  The Ephesians passage is the 'salvation by faith through grace' bit, so some nice straight forward soteriology stuff, and a bit more upbeat than the two OT readings.

The beginning of Psalm 77 is what I found spoke to me today:

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me.
In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted.
I think of God, and I moan; I meditate, and my spirit faints.
You keep my eyelids from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

Psalm 77:1 - 4 NRSV

I think pretty much everyone has had nights when they cannot sleep, or times when they have lain awake all night trying to make sense of something or other but not able to find the way forward.  Many have had a 'dark night of the soul' or the times of wondering why God is silent and seems, contrary to promise, to have abandoned them.  The psalm is not all 'lament' it does move on to recall past experiences of God, but I think it also gives permission for people to feel the way they feel.

This morning someone pointed me at a You Tube video expressing the experiences of a woman who had been treated for breast cancer.  I appreciate you are probably all sick and tired of this stuff, but it is still part of my life (and always will be).  The experiences in the video do not entirely match my own - I can honestly say I have never asked 'why me' - but it does have resonances along the way.  Even if it does match your own story, or that of anyone you know/love the nightmare roller coaster is a metaphor worth considering...  Feel free to skip past it to the rest of my scribbles if you prefer.

  (If you do watch it, you may need a tissue or three)

God of the dark places

The endless night-time

The sleepless nights

And interminable days

The nightmare, waking and sleeping









Why do you allow us this travail?

To what end the nights we cannot sleep?


Yet even darkness is light to you

In Christ, You have have shared the endless hours









You know and understand our travail

You have had your own own sleepless nights


Whether we ride the roller coaster of our own nightmares

Unable to make the ride stop

Unable to get off...


Whether we live in the pause moment before the next plunge

Knowing what will come

Unable to stop the inevitable...


Whether we feel the perisitent tug of the cable

Drawing us steadily onwards

Unable to escape what lies ahead...


Whether we relax as the ride ends

Unable to be sure it has ended

Not knowing if we must ride again as some new nightmare overtakes us...


Whether we watch helplessly

Unable to free another from the nightmare ride

Unable to share the ride...


Whatever, wherever, whoever...

You are with us




Sharing every moment


God of the dark places

God of the sleepless nights

God of the nightmare

God of hope

God whose promsies are trustworthy

God in whom we find life

Hear our prayer.


  • I too never asked Why me? Why not me? Will watch the video when our broadband improves. :-)

  • Indeed. To be fair, it's only a fleeting mention in the song.

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