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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My mouth speaks praise with joy on my lips— whenever I ponder you on my bed, whenever I meditate on you in the middle of the night— because you’ve been a help to me and I shout for joy in the protection of your wings.

My whole being clings to you; your strong hand upholds me.

Psalm 63:5b-8

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Do you remember when you first noticed your shadow as a child? Did you love it? Hate it? Were you scared of it? When we are young we often find great joy in watching that extension of our body dance before us in the light.

Here we find David taking delight in the shadow of God. Shadow that provided shade and coolness in the hot desert. Shadow that provided comfort and safety in the wide-open sands.

Today, take notice of your shadow. Let it be a reminder of the way that David sang for joy even in the wilderness. Let it inspire you to find comfort and safety in the midst of the hardships in your own life.

Katie Gilbert

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God of the shadows, remind me of the ways that you provide comfort and safety during difficult times. 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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