Desperate for God?
Out of quiet desperation to hear from God last year, I declared my Lenten* season would be television free.
This was so BIG, Girlfriend. I love television. I spend hours and hours with television. We’re tight and breaking up with it was not an easy decision. It called to me like a long lost friend in moments of fatigue, boredom and procrastination.
Honestly, after a couple days, I thought, Why didn’t I choose something easier like reading the Bible in its original language or running a marathon or solving world hunger?
God was up to something.
When I craved a Netflix fix, God called me to be with Him. When I wanted to check-out with HDTV, God invited me to check-in with Him.
Instead of pondering and worrying about how fictitious characters were going to get out of their jam or what was going to happen in the next episode, God reminded me how He’d rescued me in the past and could trust Him with my future.
After weeks and weeks without television, I finally tuned into God’s whispers traipsing across the backyard of my brain, which I carefully catalogued in my journal. I sensed His presence as I read His words in my Bible. It was glorious.
Definition of Lent
According to the dictionary, lent is the past tense of lend – meaning to let someone have something temporarily. Like borrowing a book from the library.
For centuries people have used Lent as a means to collateralize on what they hope Easter represents. Fresh starts. Resurrections. Miracles.
What needs resurrection in your life?
Speaking for myself, I want so many things. It’s been a weird year, hasn’t it?
- I want unquenchable hope restored.
- Overflowing opportunities for ministry as a speaker.
- Prodigals to return home.
- Restoration in relationships.
- The pandemic obliterated.
Lent this year … I’m afraid to ask!
This year, as Ash Wednesday approached, I timidly asked the LORD what “we” were doing for Lent. I half expected He’d say it’s time to start exercising or make up with the neighbor I’m ignoring on purpose, or give up red meat or refrain from online shopping.
But instead, he told me, “Stop striving. Just sit with me for a bit everyday. There are things I want to tell you.”
I’m telling you, my heart melted.
I thought of Jeremiah 29:11-14 which says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”
I don’t know about you, but the last 12 months has felt stifling – kinda like being in captivity – held hostage by the pandemic. So, I can’t wait to hear what God has for me over the next 40 days.
What about you?
Are you up for a little Lenten reconnection? Would you take this lenten season to engage with God, asking for his resurrection power to show up in your life and close the gap between heaven and earth. (Matt 6:10 – Father, let your Kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.)
It’s not too late to join me this Lent. Ask God what you can give up or start up or sacrifice or incorporate to experience his presence in a more powerful way.
Then, prepare to be amazed.
Scripture for today: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
Oh God, I want to know you more. I want to hear your still small voice. I want to see you move in my life and the lives of others. Help me find you in this world that contends for my every minute and attention. I want to let go of that which keeps me distant and questioning. Meet me in the space I create this Lenten season. In Jesus’ Name. Amen
*Lent is the 40 days of self-examination and reflection in anticipation of Easter. It’s the time to consider who God is, what he’s done, and how to respond to him.
It’s the golden opportunity to institute a change that could revolutionize your thinking, your spirit and your life.
In Western churches it begins on Ash Wednesday, and provides space for a 40-day fast (Sundays are excluded), in imitation of Jesus Christ’s fasting in the wilderness before he began his public ministry.