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Lenten Devotional 2-27-2024

Good afternoon, all!  Our Lenten devotional today is written by Michael Gonzalez.
Michael is currently a Lecturer in the Bob Schieffer College of Communication. Before
this role, he was an adjunct instructor and a graduate teaching assistant while
working on a Master’s degree at TCU.
Michael has the benefit and privilege of being both a TCU student and faculty member. To quote Michael, “This place has so much beauty that no singular role will enable you to see fully.” Frog Camp is one of his most favorite things about working here! Michael spends his free time mentoring 4th graders through the Academy 4 program, where he served on staff prior to coming to TCU. I hope you enjoy today’s devotional, and many blessings to you and yours.

Psalm 18:19
“He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me.”

Psalm 4:8
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”

The Obedience to Rest

Most would be hard pressed to find a dish as symbolically enriched as Challah Bread. While the baking process is fairly straightforward, it is time consuming as the recipe calls for several one-to-two-hour periods for the dough to rest. Otherwise, the baker might yield a cracked and spoiled bread antithetical to the very day it is made to commemorate, the Sabbath. God calls us to devote one day a week to trade our frantic labor concerns with undisputed respite, trusting He will sustain it even as we’re away from it. Perhaps with little surprise, however, today’s cultural trends have neglected the weekly discipline to rest and trust.

Time Magazine published an article just weeks ago explaining how no society has had a deeper reservoir of exhaustion than ours. The APA released data indicating at least 50% of young adults (aged 18-34) are commonly swamped by stress. The American Sleep Apnea Association shares that 1 in 3 American adults are not receiving an adequate amount of uninterrupted sleep. While scripture calls us to sit and rest, we’ve succumbed to a culture that eagerly tosses our restlessness into the oven and makes us suffer the subsequent cracking apart of our souls. What is to be made of our hope in a context this abysmal?

The 18th Psalm captures David’s gratitude after God delivered him from a seemingly hopeless context. As David prepared to be fully encompassed by his enemies, his song recounts that the earth reverberated when God heard his cry for deliverance. The Lord’s anger made child’s play out of the mightiest mountains. The most consuming smoke poured from His nostrils and the most devouring fire from His mouth. The Lord rode upon a cherub and a darkness so tangible as He made the most brilliant thunder His orchestra. The Lord scattered any cause for death with His arrows and He blasted the water out of the ocean with His breath. David’s epic depiction of deliverance culminates in what is perhaps the most beautiful part of the song: “He rescued me because He delights in me.”

This is our God. The mighty, smoke billowing, death-defying King that stops at nothing to rescue you solely because He delights in you. This is the redemptive God that constantly pieces together what shattered apart. This is the merciful Savior that rids us of our terrible burden to bask in exhaustion. Only He can make a testimony out of your sleep; that while you weren’t, He continued to be. So, let your soul experience the ministry of a full night’s rest. Let Him dispel all reasons to tolerate the cracking apart of your soul.


 Lord, I confess I’ve made a habit of embracing my pitiful attempts at peace instead of letting go and resting in Your embrace. Teach me how to surrender my fruitless efforts and to trust that You will protect, care for, and sustain me. Help me to see that You turn my every night into a panoramic of Your presence, even those most dark and restless. Thank You that You’re as faithful in my slumber as You are in my wake. Come have Your way in every moment of the timeline You’ve graciously given me. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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