Encountering God in this Season of Lent

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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…”

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“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

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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…

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“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

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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 🙂

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“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

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“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

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Groaning too deep for words

Do you ever have a hard time praying?

I certainly do, all the time! One of my favorite verses about it that reminds me of the true nature of prayer is Romans 8:26. Here’s what is says:

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself INTERCEDES for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26

Isn’t that incredible? The Spirit of God Himself works within the hearts of believers to communicate with the Father. This communication, this groaning is on a level that is even deeper than even our prettiest words and prettiest prayers.

The next time that you find yourself desperate for praying “the right or pretty way,” let it go and let God take over. He doesn’t require prayers that sound like poetry or even make complete sense. But God listens to you always, even to the groaning that lives in your heart that is too deep for even words.