As many of us return to work, school, and other responsibilities, we do so this year with the additional weight of the ongoing pandemic restrictions. Some are still displaced from their homes due to fire and flood; others struggling with grief and loss of other kinds.
How many of us have lifted our voices with the Psalmist, crying out to God:
How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I have perplexity in my mind,
and grief in my heart day after day?
Perhaps we have even experienced a lapse of faith during these times, then wondered if our seeming estrangement from God would be met with silence when next we bend our knees in prayer.
Yet we do not need to worry – God will receive us in whatever state we come… tired, disheveled, frustrated, worn out, angry, even bitter. Like the prodigal father, God receives us with open arms, joyfully and lovingly… again and again, no matter how many times we fall away and return. If we are met with silence, it is not the silence of absence, but that of a deep, loving Presence… the kind that banishes the voices that plague us, and allows us to be still and know God, even for just one blessed moment.
In this time of new beginnings, may we continue to lean on Christ our Rock, and remember that our Lord – who seeks us first – is always ready to receive us in whatever condition we come.