Day 22

When You May Be Found

from the Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross reading plan


Lamentations 4:1-11, Psalm 32:6-7

BY Amanda Bible Williams

Text: Lamentations 4:1-11, Psalm 32:6-7

I confess I’m easily, daily, hourly tricked by the exterior of a person — what they look like, where they live, what they do with their days, even how the world classifies them in terms of wealth and status and ethnicity and name. I confess I believe the lie that those things matter; I confess I have to remind myself of the person inside the person—the story and soul that make them who they are.

I remember reading CS Lewis’s essay “The Weight of Glory” for the first time, how it gripped my heart and imagination with the truth that people are just souls with bodies. I say “just” like it’s no big deal, but the truth is, it’s a very big deal. The biggest, actually. The folks I drove past on the interstate today, them in their car and I in mine; the nice young man who handed me our dinner at the drive-thru window on the way home from a late day; the woman who listened as my son breathed deeply in and out as he sat on the table in the doctor’s office; the mom who walked out of that room with her own sick boy just before we walked in—they are each the creation of a loving God. They are each the soul Jesus died to save.

“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”
– CS Lewis, “The Weight of Glory”

Whew. It’s heavy, right?

But Lewis is right. These false classifications and temporary circumstances I confess to idolizing can change in an instant—but I hold them up nonetheless. I tend to judge myself just as harshly—What right do I have to my health and my home, my family and my job? And there I go, carrying false guilt around with my true guilt and wondering why it’s so hard to stand.

Like the gold and the stones in this passage from Lamentations, all the shiny things eventually tarnish and all the strong things soon scatter—and if my hope for myself and others is found in anything but God, I am tossed around like a dry leaf in the wind. Like the lady Jerusalem, I stand in ruins, longing just for a place to hide.

Therefore let everyone who is godly
offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found;
surely in the rush of great waters,
they shall not reach him.
You are a hiding place for me;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah
– Psalm 32:6-7 ESV

The consequences of my sin are devastating, but more devastating still is my lack of repentance. Lack of repentance breeds shame, and shame whispers lies in my ear. Shame tells me I can’t be forgiven. Shame tells me I’m not worth forgiving. But the Cross tells a different story—the true story.

Jesus knew shame. The beloved hymn says it well:

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suffering and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Jesus endured my shame on the Cross, every last ounce. He endured yours, too. When I’m guilty of shaming others… when I’m guilty of shaming myself… when I am guilty of forgetting who He is, who I am in Him, and who YOU are in Him — His sacrifice covers it all.

Will you seek Christ with me today just as you are, sin and all? Will you believe with me that He can be found? He is there on the Cross, with mercy enough for you and for me.

Matthew Henry writes, “In a time of finding, when the heart is softened with grief, and burdened with guilt; when all human refuge fails; when no rest can be found to the troubled mind, then it is that God applies the healing balm by his Spirit.”

May our hearts be softened by grief and burdened with a godly guilt that leads to repentance. When all human refuge fails—and, by God’s grace, even before!—may we repent and look to the Cross.

 

SRT-Lent2015_instagram22 IMG_5344.JPG
Post Comments (75)

75 thoughts on "When You May Be Found"

  1. Julie says:

    We are learning the word ‘value’ in my fifth grade classroom. When I read your comment Steph I can’t think of a better example to help them know how they are valued by God :) the life of God was poured for them!

  2. Steph says:

    Whoever loses his life will find it. Jesus didn’t just say that, but was obedient to the fathers will. And invites us to do the same. There’s no such thing as cheap grace. We’ll never know how much it cost.

  3. Kasey Tuggle says:

    Would our Godly grief lead us to repentance!

    1. Kasey Tuggle says:

      I just love that!!! Repentance leads me to worship. To see myself in the humble way I should see myself- that leads me to have the right frame of mind so I can live focused on Jesus!!

  4. Sharon says:

    What is the source of the Matthew Henry quote at the end of this post?

  5. Peace2015 says:

    Reading through Lam 5:1-22 and the condition of Jerusalem at that time is eerily similar to the condition our county, the United States of America, has become today. What a sad situation. Isaiah 55:6 reminds us to, “Seek the Lord while He may still be found.” Christian brothers and sisters, we have work to do…repent, seek, tell the Good News!

  6. Amanda says:

    This passage from Lamentations was my hardest to read so far. And all I could think (before I even got to the devotion) was, “there, without Christ, would I be. Run, Amanda, flee and cling to that beautiful Cross that receives my repentance”. Thank you that in each devotion you are not leaving us in the desolation of Lamentations but bringing us to repent and return to the beautiful Saviour who forgives, saves, and restores.

    1. Kendra says:

      Yes! You took the words right out of my mouth. Thank you Jesus for your loving kindness and mercy that’s new every morning!

  7. Antimony says:

    “Lack of repentance breeds shame, and shame whispers lies in my ear. Shame tells me I can’t be forgiven. Shame tells me I’m not worth forgiving. But the Cross tells a different story—the true story”. Is that what this is? Shame because I would rather wallow in failure than try to move beyond it? Because failure is my “comfort zone”? And moving outside of ones comfort zone is never fun? Maybe. Maybe so.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *