Tracey Henderson served as a summer assistant director and currently is a doctor specializing in pediatrics at Rochester General Hospital.
In this passage we hear the Israelites once again complaining to God, becoming impatient with their misfortunes. How often do we, too, focus on what is not going well in our lives? It is easy to complain, and to feel like our troubles are piling up. We ask God to take away our suffering. We wish our lives could just be easy.
Yet challenges are a part of life. There is no joy without sorrow. There is no triumph without fear. So many times we find that God does not erase our problems, but instead gives us the tools we need to overcome them. In my line of work, I have encountered people facing devastating diseases and injuries. It is easy to ask “why?” and to become angry at how unfair life seems. But embedded within these stories are true miracles—the resiliency of the human spirit, even in the face of unimaginable suffering. God does not take away the venomous snakes, but allows the Israelites to survive their snake bites.
Prayer: As we reflect this Lenten season, help us look to you, God, not to eliminate our challenges, but to give us the courage we need to overcome them. Help us not to feel cheated and angry at the misfortunes we face, but grateful for the blessings that hide among these shadows. Help us to move forward with grace and faith, knowing that, through you, we have the strength to prevail. Amen.
For this year’s Lent devotions, the days follow the Common Lectionary texts. Each author was invited to: 1.Read the passage.
2.Read a couple passages before and after the assigned day.
3.Do something else for the day, keeping the passage in mind.
4.Find a word/phrase/concept that connects with your own experience. Reflect on that.
You are encouraged to do the same.