When You May Be Found
Open Your Bible
Lamentations 4:1-11, Psalm 32:6-7
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.