Why, God? Why? I believe this is a question we find ourselves asking often over the course of our lives. Why do we have to endure losing a loved one? Why are our bodies so susceptible to illness? Why do people go hungry? Why do we have to face tragedy? Why is there so much discord and hate in the world? Ultimately we are asking: Why do human beings have to experience so much loss and pain?
Pastor Adam will be helping us think about these pressing questions in a sermon series after Easter. They come to mind again and again. But during Lent, I find that there is a lot of talk about what disciplines we can give up or take on to honor God as we prepare for Easter. So often, though, I forget that this season of Lent is a time for us to remember our fragility—a common human experience. I believe Jesus, whose life and death we focus on in anticipation of Easter, helps us come to grips with both the deepest pains and the highest joys. I believe Jesus often asked the “Why?” question.
Often during Lent, as I try to open my heart to God anew, I find that I have let my questions and doubts color my understanding of God. I have forgotten that the God we follow is a God of love. I need God’s love revealed in Jesus to give me a fuller picture of who God is. In 1 John 4:9-11, we read of God’s great love:”This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” So this Lenten week, I challenge you to think about how you can seek healing, and ready your heart for Easter, by inviting the Spirit to help see God’s love for you anew. All of this so that when Easter comes, we can rejoice in our loving God!
Matthew, Sheila, and Dennis Linn, authors of Simple Ways to Pray for Healing offer this “Prayer Process”:
1. Close your eyes and breathe deeply, breathing in the love of God that surrounds you.
2. See the faces of the one or two people who have loved you the most. Breathe in the special gift of each person, such as gentleness, loyalty, listening, wisdom, etc.
3. Take a moment to be with God as you understand God and appreciate how God loves you in these same ways.
4. If there is any way you can’t experience God as loving you at least as much as the person who loves you most, be with your hurt and longing. Breathe in God’s love and let God love you just as you are.
-Rev. Katherine Ebling-Frazier, Pastor of Prayer