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My Gethsemane Moment – But God!

A Lent Reflection for Tuesday, February 20 by Rev. Dr. Cynthia P. Stewart 

Lectionary Reading for  2/20/24: Psalm 77; Job 4:1-21; Ephesians 2:1-10

Selected passage for reflection: Ephesians 2:1-10


Psalm 77 NIV

I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me.

In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;    my soul refuses to be comforted.

I think of God, and I moan; I meditate, and my spirit faints. Selah

You keep my eyelids from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.

I consider the days of old and remember the years of long ago.

I commune[a] with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit:[b]

“Will the Lord spurn forever  and never again be favorable?

Has his steadfast love ceased forever? Are his promises at an end for all time?

Has God forgotten to be gracious?  Has he in anger shut up his compassion?” Selah

1And I say, “It is my grief    that the right hand of the Most High has changed.”

11 I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord;  I will remember your wonders of old.

12 I will meditate on all your work  and muse on your mighty deeds.

13 Your way, O God, is holy. What god is so great as our God?

14 You are the God who works wonders;  you have displayed your might among the peoples.

15 With your strong arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah

16 When the waters saw you, O God, when the waters saw you, they were afraid; the very deep trembled.

17 The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered;  your arrows flashed on every side.

18 The crash of your thunder was in the whirlwind;    your lightnings lit up the world;    the earth trembled and shook.

19 Your way was through the sea, your path through the mighty waters,  yet your footprints were unseen.

20 You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.


I would like you to read this poem a few times and see what resonates with you. 

The Scream:

Munch wrote the poem that inspired the image many of us have seen: 


I was walking along the road with two friends. The Sun was setting —The Sky turned a bloody red

And I felt a whiff of Melancholy — I stood

Still, deathly tired — over the blue-black

Fjord and City hung Blood and Tongues of Fire

My Friends walked on — I remained behind-- shivering with Anxiety. I felt the great Scream in Nature.

Edvard Munch: The Scream

When I read this poem, I am reminded of people who are no longer in my life. Yes, it created anxiety, because I questioned what happened, what did I do, what did I say, what could I have done differently. But it took some time to realize it was time for them to “walk on.” This created a sense of grief and suffering for which I did not expect, a part of me had been torn apart. I said, I am overwhelmed, I am helpless, there is nothing I can do and when I try to convey it, it just seems as if the words can’t come out. But like Psalm 77, I was able to say, “I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me.” The poem resonates because there are times when life gets difficult, and we just want to “scream” and question what is really going on. As we continue to read the Psalm, we hear the voice of someone who is troubled, can’t sleep, is speechless, feels alone, and if God has forgotten them. But they did stay there, they stretched their hands to God and prayed, and God “heard” as they cried out aloud about their pain and suffering. Verses 10-20 changes gears, because the one who was suffering, realizes what God had done in the past and begins to say, “I will call to mind, I will remember, I will meditate.” That is when God brings to one’s remembrance how he has brought them through trials and tribulations before and if he did it then, he can do it again. So, there is HOPE, keep praying and trusting. God got you!


During this Lenten season, answer any of these questions: 

What is troubling your soul? 

What keeps you up at night? 

Are you grieving the loss of a loved one? 

What promises are you still waiting to manifest? 

What do you need to cry out aloud to God about? 


(Imagine Jesus at the Garden of Gethsemane praying - Luke 22:39-46)

Lord, during this Lenten season, may I remember I am not alone, you are always with me, and you give me strength. Whenever I am suffering, may I like Jesus say, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” I may not understand right now but open my heart to what it is you want me to learn. God, I put my trust in you. 

About the Author

Rev. Dr. Cynthia P. Stewart will complete her Advanced Spiritual Direction Internship through Loyola University Chicago where she also works for Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health. She is an adjunct professor for North Park Theological Seminary. Intercessory Prayer is her calling. Thai food, Tennis, and Time away are her favorites. 


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1 Comment

I am trying to hold on to what God has done in the past as I wait for God to work for my future. Why is it so hard for us to hold and remember? I am ready for the next, shiny thing already!

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