As I mentioned yesterday, something I’m looking forward to during Lent is participating in the She Reads Truth devotional-writing project. You can read more about the project here, and you can check out other SRT readers’ devotionals in the comments here.
Hoping and waiting for the Lord.
This pretty much sums up some of our seasons, doesn’t it? How often do we find ourselves hoping and waiting, sometimes for what feels like eternity, crying out of the depths?
What those “depths” consist of is different for all of us and can even differ from season to season. For me, those depths often consist of how I perceive others have wronged me, how I have been victimized, how I am suffering through something that is no fault of my own. As much as it pains me to admit it, I am good at crying from the depths with a cry that sounds like, “Hey, God! Look at how others have wronged me! I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, but they aren’t and now I’m suffering. Help me!”
That’s why verse 3 stops me dead in my tracks.
“If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (KJV)
Wait, you mean me? Me? But I’m the victim here! I’m the one crying to you from the depths, the one voicing my supplications, the one hoping and waiting. It’s all those other people who are responsible for the “immoral or grossly unfair behavior” (thank you, Merriam-Webster).
The truth is, sisters, it’s not just them. It’s us.
No one is without sin. That rhetorical question, that “who shall stand?” I’ll go ahead and answer it for you: no one.
But as with so many parts of His story, don’t stop there! Keep reading! Turn the page! Just when you think Job will lose his faith, he ends up better off than he was before. Just when you think Jonah will meet his demise as a snack, he’s back prophesying in Nineveh. Just when you think the Messiah is gone forever, He’s talking with Mary Magdelene at His own tomb.
His story is one of hope. Always, always hope.
So if verse 3 stops you like it stops me, take a minute and experience that stop. Think about it. Journal about it. Realize it’s true and then ask for forgiveness.
And then read verse 4:
“But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared.”
See? There it is–hope! We are all guilty of iniquities, but we are all treated with forgiveness and grace.
And then we wait. We wait and we hope. Because we know this story of His is a page-turner, and we know that it doesn’t end in the depths. We know that He shall redeem us.