Pause

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul,
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul!

from “What Wondrous Love Is This,” American Folk Hymn

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Listen

I’ve taken refuge in you, Lord. Don’t let me ever be put to shame! Deliver me and rescue me by your righteousness! Bend your ear toward me and save me! Be my rock of refuge where I can always escape. You commanded that my life be saved because you are my rock and my fortress. My God, rescue me from the power of the wicked; rescue me from the grip of the wrongdoer and the oppressor because you are my hope, Lord. You, Lord, are the one I’ve trusted since childhood.

Psalm 71:1-5

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Think

Have you ever prayed God would rescue you from pain or struggle?

Maybe you needed God to keep you from failing a test or to stop other kids from bullying you. Maybe you needed God to end your loneliness when you saw everyone together without you on Instagram. Did you see your parents’ divorce coming? Or have you worried that your school would be the next one a shooter would terrorize?

The Psalmist knows just how you felt, asking God to be a rock and fortress to provide rescue from wrongdoers. And this Psalm says that God was faithful, commanding the author’s life to be saved.

The tricky thing about these prayers is that Jesus prayed one too, the night before he went to the cross. He asked God for a rescue that did not come. In the midst of that struggle, pleading to be saved from the cross, Jesus instead had to figure out how to be faithful in the middle of pain.

Sometimes God rescues us from our challenge. Sometimes we discover faithfulness in the midst of it.

Chip Hardwick

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Pray

Dear Lord, thank you for every time you help me out of my struggles. Help me to be faithful like Jesus as long as those struggles continue. I pray in Jesus’ name, amen.

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Go

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
that were a present far too small;
love so amazing, so divine,
demands my soul, my life, my all.

from “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” Isaac Watts

Chip Hardwick

Chip Hardwick moved to Chicagoland in early 2018 in order to serve as an interim pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, IL. He is hoping to get his cat, Ahoy, interested in Holy Week activities this year.

Reflections on the Way: The Great Physician Now is Here - Mozart Melody

Ken Medema

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