Have you ever waited for a day with such expectancy that you could hardly contain your joy? We endure the waiting time, knowing what is to come will overshadow anything that came before.

This kind of longing also shows up in our spiritual lives. During the season of Lent we wait for what we know is coming but is not here yet.

I invite you, as we endure the hard days ahead, to lean into the darkness before the light, sit with the sorrow before the joy, and relish the silence before the trumpets and Alleluias.

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God! My God! It’s you— I search for you! My whole being thirsts for you! My body desires you in a dry and tired land, no water anywhere.

Yes, I’ve seen you in the sanctuary; I’ve seen your power and glory.

My lips praise you because your faithful love is better than life itself!

So I will bless you as long as I’m alive; I will lift up my hands in your name.

Psalm 63:1-4

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A song of praise?! David, what is wrong with you? Praising God even in the wilderness?

We have something to learn from David. In the midst of a scary place, he sings joyfully to God. I don’t know about you, but that is difficult for me. At the times in my life when I am in the wilderness, praising God is not my first reaction. Often it feels like God is not even present.

But that’s just the thing. Even in the darkest of places, God is actually there — right in the thick of it with us. When we call upon God (and even when we don’t!), God is with us. And so we should follow David and seek to experience God in all moments.

If you are in the midst of the wilderness, call upon God! If the days are long, seek God. If you are overwhelmed or stressed, remember that God’s love is bigger than you know. If you are tired and worn out, feel the presence of God all around you.

Katie Gilbert

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God of the wilderness, open me up to experiencing your presence even in the darkest of days. Amen.

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God is teaching us.
We endure through so much—
through time, through pain,
through joy and sorrow,
sunshine and rain,
And sometimes the boring everyday.

But God is teaching us.
Love remains.
Mercy is wide.
Grace abounds.
The Alleluias are coming…

And God is teaching us.
Inviting all of us on the journey.
Enduring, overcoming,
growing, changing, becoming.

Katie Gilbert

Rev. Katie Gilbert currently serves as Director of Outreach and Invitation at First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, AL. She enjoys spending time with her husband Matt, her 9 month old daughter Harper, and their crazy Boston Terrier, Lennon. They love to travel the world, eat good food, and spend time with family.

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