Encountering God in this Season of Lent

***

The sun was shining brightly.  Even after the long bike ride back to my apartment, a smile still found it’s way across my glistening face.  In the mood to cook, I opened up the cookbook she gave me.  Like a ton of bricks, it hit me.  I missed my mammaw, and there was nothing that could keep the tears from flowing.  Leaving the kitchen to sit outside in the sunshine, I felt the rays warming my face.  But just as I felt that warmth on my skin, I felt His warmth in my soul.  In the whisper of the wind in the trees, it was as if I heard Him saying also, “Come to me, My child… I am all that you need…”

***

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.’

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

***

Even though we are just a few days into this Lenten season, this is the question that I’m asking myself: “Isn’t this what Lent is really about?”  In times like today, I’m learning that Lent–and every other day, for that matter–is all about deeply relying on God.  It’s to share in his sufferings.  It’s to rejoice that we are the children of the God that KNOWS what it’s like to lose a loved one.  Not only does He know this pain though, but He CHOSE to experience this pain.  Even as His own son cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” it was the remembrance of His love for US that kept Him from sparing Jesus.  Instead, He poured out His wrath on His perfect and beloved son…  All so that he would be called Christ, the Lord and Savior…

***

“That I may know him and the power of his resurrection,

and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.”  

Philippians 3:10

***

I have a challenge for us this Lenten season: let’s meet God in our weakness.  It’s not about having enough will-power to give up french fries or chocolate or coffee.  It’s not about “self-power”; it’s all about “Spirit-power!”  Jesus’ anxiety shown in the drops of sweated blood is as real as the worries that trouble your soul. But Jesus’ resounding cry, shouting, “It is finished!” is as sure as the hope that we have.  Jesus paid it all.  May we know this power, the power of his resurrection.

Everyday, I pray that we will be brought to a point at which we say, “Father, I cannot be stretched any further; I cannot go any longer.  I need you…”  No matter what that point may be–whether craving the food item we gave up or feeling as though we cannot wash a single dish more after such a long day.  May we welcome that time of weakness, and I pray we will encounter Him there.

Warmest blessings to you this Lent season,

Sarah 🙂

***

“And after you have suffered a little while,

the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ,

will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

1 Peter 5:10

***

“For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with

weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.

For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:10

***


Advertisements

Praying My Way Through Lent

This year, I’m approaching Lent differently.  I think the whole point of these 40 days, ULTIMATELY, is to allow us to draw nearer to God and to realize the weight of Jesus’s sacrifice.  While giving up something up has always helped me see that, I’m going to be different this year by doing this….I’m going to pray for 2-3 different people each day.

This may sound like I think I’m sitting on a high horse saying, “Oh, I need to pray for so-and-so because he/she did this…!”  NOT AT ALL!

Within these past few days, I’ve truly experienced the power of prayer through so many praying for me!  I’ve had a really hard past few weeks, and I only made it through by the grace of God and because my wonderful family and friends have been praying for me non-stop.  Also…Think about Jesus in the wilderness for 40 days… the only way that He survived by being constantly tempted by the devil himself was by being in CONSTANT prayer!

Prayer is so critical in our relationship with God.  A friend of mine has a quote on his Facebook that says, “God can move mountains.  Prayer can move God.”  Isn’t that amazing to think?  God already knows the desires of our heart, but when we take that time in prayer to shift our focus from our own selves to others…. can you imagine the difference that it would make in our own lives as well as the lives of others?

Living a compelled life means living with Christ’s love as the reason why we do anything and everything!  No matter what, during these next 40 days, let’s celebrate Easter by living compelled by the love that Christ radically and graciously gave to us by dying on a cross for us, the cross that “made Him a curse so that we might receive the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).