During Lent, we consider our relationship with the Holy One. We are but dust, yet made in the image of God.
It is two sides of the same coin. We are significant and beloved in God’s eyes, but who do we think we are to stand in the presence of the Almighty and ask for anything?
At God’s request and in God’s mercy, we enter into a covenant relationship. The unconditional love we experience in that relationship compels us to trust God with every fiber of our being.
Then he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you from Ur of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” He brought him all these and cut them in two, laying each half over against the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.
As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram, and a deep and terrifying darkness descended upon him.
Once I saw a pastor, in front of a large audience, invite a teenager to the stage. He asked, would she fall backwards and trust that he would keep her from falling? Blindfolded, the teen was reluctant, but then she did it. The pastor gently caught the teen and stood her back up. Then he asked her to do it again but this time, the blind teenager heard the pastor’s voice coming from in front of her. Could she fall backwards and trust him to not let her fall?
The audience had the benefit of seeing that another strong looking person had quietly stepped in behind her.
A covenant is based in trust. Abram was beginning to trust God. Before trust, the feeling we have is hope. We hope that we can trust someone. Sound risky? The gifts of God are given especially to those who trust and who are willing to risk hoping in God’s promises.
When the deep and terrifying darkness of distrust comes over me, help me to remember your promises and to place my hope in you, Covenant God. Amen.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV)