Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Life in the Face of Death

Many bulls encircle me, strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs are all around me; a company of evildoers encircles me. My hands and feet have shriveled;
I can count all my bones. They stare and gloat over me; they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, O Lord, do not be far away! O my help, come quickly to my aid! Deliver my soul from the sword, my life from the power of the dog! Save me from the mouth of the lion! From the horns of the wild oxen you have rescued me. I will tell of your Name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you: 

You who fear the Lord, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! 
For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.
 —Psalm 22:12-24 
Two realities: one human and one divine. The human reality is pain—even as we see in the life of Jesus the pain of crucifixion. The divine reality, however, sees beyond the pain. The One who created time is not bound by time when experiencing pain, but can also the experience the reality of answered prayer, of freedom, of resurrection.

Give me hope where there seems to be none, O God: Grant me the mind of Christ that I, too, can experience healing in the midst of pain and life in the face of death. Amen.