Search Me (Monday 27 February)

Morning Encounter:

Introduction

This week, as we approach the season of Lent, we will be taking the opportunity to consider our lives before God. Lent is traditionally a time for humility and honesty as we pay attention to the state of our soul. As we take time for inner reflection, let us also be open to the possibility of new strength and a renewed relationship with the Father. As the winter season begins to give way to spring, let us not be overwhelmed by the dark places in our lives, but open to new life, fresh grace and unconditional love.

Read:

You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me.
You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts.

You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say,
and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side.
I can’t understand all of this!
Such wonderful knowledge is far above me.

Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight?
If I were to climb up to the highest heavens, you would be there.
If I were to dig down to the world of the dead you would also be there.

Suppose I had wings like the dawning day and flew across the ocean.
Even then your powerful arm would guide and protect me.
Or suppose I said, “I’ll hide in the dark until night comes to cover me over.”
But you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you.

You are the one who put me together inside my mother’s body, and I praise you because of the wonderful way you created me.
Everything you do is marvellous! Of this I have no doubt. Nothing about me is hidden from you!

I was secretly woven together deep in the earth below, but with your own eyes you saw my body being formed. Even before I was born you had written in your book everything I would do.

Your thoughts are far beyond my understanding, much more than I could ever imagine.
I try to count your thoughts, but they outnumber the grains of sand on the beach.
And when I awake, I will find you nearby.

Look deep into my heart, God, and find out everything I am thinking.
Don’t let me follow evil ways, but lead me in the way that time has proven true.

 (Psalm 139. 1-18, 23-24)

Reflect:

Do the words of this Psalm bring fear or assurance? Is it scary or comforting to know that nothing in our lives is hidden from God? The author’s initial impulse is to flee, to run and hide because the thought of this is all too much. But there is nowhere dark enough or far enough away to hide. The Psalm is also assuring because this intimate knowing and searching is to refine us, form us and lead us into good and right ways. God is for us, he loves us, he is committed to us and his care for us began even before we were born.

Respond:

Be open and assured today that God is for you and loves you. As you pray, be honest about your life with him. Ask for forgiveness where you need to and receive new grace.

Midday Meditation:

‘When we despair of gaining inner transformation through human powers of will and determination, we are open to a wonderful new realization: inner righteousness is a gift from God to be graciously received. The needed change within us is God’s work, not ours. The demand is for an inside job, and only God can work from the inside. We cannot attain or earn this righteousness of the kingdom of God; it is a grace that is given.’

(Ryan M Thurman)

Evening Reflection:

Take time each evening this week to reflect on the highs and lows of the day. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What am I grateful for this day?
  • What am I not grateful for this day?
  • Where did I give and receive love in my activities and interactions?
  • Where did I withhold love and grace in my activities and interactions?

Use these brief questions and your responses to form your prayers before you go to sleep.

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