Friday, 25 March 2016


This year Daniel and I decided to participate in Lent together, once again.

For those who may not know, Lent is a period of fasting done in the Christian faith in anticipation and leading up to Easter.  It is a time to put aside one's desires and put intention into seeking God, and allowing Him to work in your life.

Lent is something that I have done a number of times in my life, and some years have been more significant than others.  In my teenage years, Lent meant giving up chocolate or watching movies.  In college, it was similar and focused mainly on self-discipline.  As I have mentioned before, a few years ago Daniel and I had the most life-changing Lent season of our lives.  We both fasted food and spent many hours in prayer and communion with our friends and family.  We prayed specifically that we would have a child.  On Easter in 2013, we announced to our church that we were miraculously pregnant.  A week later we would find out that we were having twins.  

Since then, I don't expect the bar for Lent to be so high, but we entered this season with anticipation of what God would be doing in our lives.  I chose to give up on something very precious to me - sleep.  I attempted to get up early so I could spend time in prayer and God's word before my day started.  Well, let me tell you, this ended up being a fail.  For the first week my alarm woke up my boys early and that was not a good start.  Then my kids and I got sick and getting up early was not happening.  And, from there it went downhill.  I gave up on Lent.  

To me, that felt like a failure.  When I set an intention, I am usually pretty good about keeping it.  I continued with my Bible reading and prayer time.  But as Lent continued on, I felt more and more like I wasn't fulfilling what I had set out to do.  I felt more and more defeated.  And then it struck me.
The work that God did on the cross was not for our triumphs and victories - it was for our failures.  It was for our brokenness.  It was for our mistakes.  It was for our sin.

This Lent season opened my eyes once more to the hurt and despair in our world.  To the shame and the guilt and the failure and the pain... all the things that Jesus came to restore.  In the past few months, we have walked with people in seasons of pain: sickness, grief, depression, brokenness, relationship dysfunction - the list goes on.  Sometimes it is hard to know what to say, except that this world is not the end.  Jesus came and died for more.  We are living for and looking ahead to more.

So Lent leads us to Good Friday... and Good Friday to Easter... and Easter to the hope that is the final Resurrection, when Jesus comes again to take us all home.  Oh what a day that will be.

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