“I waited patiently for the Lord, he inclined to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1
In the weeks leading up to today,Ash Wednesday, the first line of the song “40” by U2 has been on my mind. The first line of Psalm 40 isn’t often true of me. Waiting and patiently don’t often go together in my life. So today as we are on the journey of the 40 days of Lent I am breathing in patience and asking God for guidance to wait.
Trusting that God hears our cries does resonate with my experience. In the past year I have added a list in my journal of “how things worked out”. So often there would some challenge, concern, fear, a prayer offered up out of desperation. It got resolved, answered, worked thought and then I moved right along. When I have called out for help after it has come my way I have then forgotten that it did “all work out”.
As we begin this season I invite you to consider how things “all work out” even when there are trials, tests and tribulations. The number 40 is found in many places in the Bible. Often it is connected with challenges, tests, trials.
Rain fell for 40 days and 40 nights in the time of Noah.
The Hebrew people roamed 40 years outside the promised land.
Moses sent spies to explore Canaan for 40 days.
Elijah walked 40 days and 40 nights before arriving at Mount Horeb.
Jesus fasted for 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness before being tempted by the devil.
Jesus ascended 40 days after his resurrection
As we count the forty days between Ash Wednesday and Holy Saturday April 20 (we don’t include Sundays in the count) we can intentionally setting it aside as a time to practice something. Maybe it is adding something to your life that will increase your patience? Perhaps you want to give up something that will help you learn the of waiting? However you may decide to practice I invite you to root your practice in listening and looking for God. Connect it with scripture and worship.
As you choose a spiritual practice to deepen your experience during these six weeks perhaps there is a song that will accompany you. Consider how you will include generosity and tithing in this season. Maybe it is the year for you to “sing a new song”. The refection on Psalm 40 invites you into a deeper connection with God. As a community we will be focusing on deepening our connections with God, other people and ourselves. The greatest commandment walks with us this season:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
Blessings and peace, patience and perseverance in these 40 days.