God opens the door to welcome us, offering mercy for our wrongs and healing for our wounds.

We can be restored: made whole and made well!

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When I kept quiet, my bones wore out; I was groaning all day long— every day, every night!— because your hand was heavy upon me. My energy was sapped as if in a summer drought. Selah

So I admitted my sin to you; I didn’t conceal my guilt. “I’ll confess my sins to the Lord, ” is what I said. Then you removed the guilt of my sin. Selah

That’s why all the faithful should pray to you during troubled times, so that a great flood of water won’t reach them. You are my secret hideout! You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of rescue! Selah

Psalm 32:3-7

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God is our protection and our peace.

God protects us from ourselves: whenever we stay silent because we are ashamed; when we carry the heavy weight of our mistakes; when we are exhausted and don't even have the energy to argue or to cry.

When there is nothing left to do but pray, God listens to everything we need to reveal.

When there is nothing more that we can afford to hide, God receives our angers, our fears, our tears, our guilt.

When we can't believe we'll ever again feel at peace, God holds back the floods of pain we thought would drown us.

Then God lifts off the weights so we can walk again. God welcomes us to safe places and invites us to rest. God restores our voice and surrounds us with song.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

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I want to be faithful, God, so even when I am most troubled I want to tell you the truth: I have sinned. I am hurt. I am sad. I am angry.

Protect me from the mistakes and sorrows that hurt me every day. Teach me your peace, so I will not be hurtful to others. Let me experience your grace, receive your forgiveness, and share your love. Amen.

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God's grace overflows: you are forgiven!

Now open the door in a wide welcome, and offer the same mercy and healing you have received.

The world is waiting to be restored.

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair

Nikki Finkelstein-Blair is an ordained Baptist minister, military spouse, and mom of two boys. Her family moves every few years, and she is learning to love the many facets of God’s call within the changes and challenges of military life. She knits, sews, reads, paints a bit, preaches occasionally, and writes blog posts and devotionals.

Wondrous Love: Music of Lent - I Am Thine, O Lord

Mark Hayes

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