Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Didn't See it Coming

Lent really crept up on me this year -- I just didn't see it coming.  I have been observing this in different ways for the past 15 years, and have always taken the time ahead to pray, plan and prepare. I didn't have that luxury this time and as the day approached I felt restless and uncertain about what I might do.  Liquid fast?  Fast from sweets?  Media? Nothing was really landing until last night as Joe and I were talking about it, and suddenly I just knew.  Before I share it, let me say that there is great peace in this whole 'being intentional' thing, knowing that where I am weak, God will more than compensate, because He is always intentional, and is always working in my life. 

This was clear when the idea for my Lenten fast came last night.  While I'd been oblivious to the fact that the day was approaching, God wasn't.  In His sovereign grace, He has been using several things in my life to prepare me anyway.  From a sermon Joe preached a couple of weeks ago to my study in Matthew to memorizing the beatitudes, one theme has resounded loud and clear and that is God's heart for people, in particular those who suffer great need.   He brings this home in a message to the Israelites on the subject of fasting, where He describes the kind of fast that brings Him pleasure:
"Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Isaiah 58:6-7
Of course as believers, this is what it means to bring the kingdom to earth, and as such is our privilege as a way of life.  But for the next 40 days I am going to seek to be far more intentional about doing this.  For example, Joe and I decided we wouldn't eat out or buy anything beyond basic needs so that we will have more to give away.  Beyond that, I am asking God to open my eyes every day, no matter where I am or what I am doing, to the needs of people around me -- even those in my own home.  And when the Lord answers, I want to act as His Spirit leads -- in prayer, service or simple words of kindness.  My mind is already racing with other ideas of things I can do to be pro-active about this.

So this year, as I focus on Christ's death and resurrection once again, I believe I am going to experience Christ's presence in amazing new ways.  This is His promise:
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.'
I can't wait!  So what are you doing this Lent?


  1. For Lent I am fasting from Amazon - from buying books (which I purchase a lot of) and I am concentrating on scripture instead of books. And with my church I am reading and meditating on a Lent Devotional which we will share about on Sunday mornings.

  2. I, also, am using the Lenten practice Tricia mentioned on her site, of using a sketch book and drawing my journey during Lent. I've already sketched out a prayer and now I don't think I'll ever forget it, for the pictures I drew are embedded in my mind and heart.

  3. As I was approaching lent, I did not want it for me, to become ritualistic, I just wasn't sure what to do. I felt God speaking into my heart to begin reading a book that I had purchased two years ago called Believing God. We as a church group of ladies had taken the study but I felt it was time for me to pick up that book and begin reading again.

    So my commitment is to 40 days of prayer, reflection and study of God's Word. Of storing His Word in my heart. God is who He says He is....God can do what He says He can do.....I am who God says I am......I can do all things through Christ.....God's Word is alive and active in me.......I'M BELIEVING GOD