“Almighty and most merciful God, drive from us all weakness…”
Obedience, never a word with which I am particularly comfortable, is what is asked for. God has made a promise to Abraham that he will give us eternal life, greater than anything that we can imagine, if we obey him.
The people of Israel following Moses through the desert had a very difficult time grasping this concept. Even after the parting of the Red Sea and the manna and the other marvels that God performed, they greedily disregarded these acts of love. They took it for granted and wanted more.
They had been sustained by God, surviving the great ordeals and hardships of the desert, but they lost their resolve to love and trust in God because of greed and avarice.
In John, Jesus refers to these lessons when he admonishes the disciples for not having the resolve to believe what they had heard and studied — that through Christ they would have eternal life.
During this period of Lent, while we struggle across our own “deserts” in our faith, we can be reassured that God loves us and will bring us through. He will keep his promise. We must have only the resolve to obey him and trust in his love for us.