Gift of Lent

We’re three weeks into Lent and I want to share my story.

When I was a little girl, people “gave up” something they enjoyed to make up for all the bad things they had done during the year. I was raised in a culture of manufactured sacrifice, as if life on its own didn’t hand you enough misery. The experience was never edifying and was even downright disappointing when I discovered my mother had eaten the huge Tootsie Roll I had given her for safe keeping until Easter. My girlfriend gave up eating between meals for Lent, so every time she ate something between meals, she called that snack either lunch or dinner. “I’m up to Christmas, meal-wise,” she confessed.

I have come to learn that there is nothing, no self mortification, I can do that will make God love me more. For that matter, there’s nothing I can do that would make God love me less, either. God’s love is unconditional and even though we live in a sin sick world, He always wants the best for me.  It took a while to learn I would find my best when I found God’s will for me.

Lately, it’s a struggle to get around like I used to.   Stairs are a challenge and forget about gardening on my knees or climbing ladders. So this Lent I decided I would give nothing up but instead, would do myself a favor and change my eating habits.

I decided to treat my arthritic, achy carcass to lots of veggies and a bit less meat and lots less sugary carbs. Most of all I won’t graze all evening on snacks.  And I already feel better – not super, mind you since I’m no spring chicken, but I find my daily routine a lot easier.

I think God would say, “See, I knew you’d feel better if you used the food I created the way I intended you should. Now have another apple and go out and enjoy!”

Reminder to readers that Mike Raha’s amazing “Passion Walk-Steps on a Journey” is available under the Article link. It’s a wonderful devotion for this Lenten season.

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One Response to Gift of Lent

  1. Robert Zinnecker says:

    Two years ago, I read and taught a class on John Wesley’s Plain Account of Christian Perfection. I began to ask myself what it meant to “sell out” to God, to love God with all my heart soul, mind and strength. I also began to think seriously about God’s command given through Moses in the book of Leviticus to “Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy” which was reaffirmed by Jesus in Matthew when he said, “Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
    In giving study, prayer, time and attention these questions, I felt that I grew closer to God. My new found commitment was severely tested one year later when a serious medical problem caused me to question where God was in my life. God dramatically answered my cries to Him and directed me to the 42nd Psalm. Through reading and meditating on this Psalm, God reaffirmed his love for me and my need to praise him even in painful situations.
    It is my hope and prayer that, at this Lenten season, many will be challenged and guided to a better understanding of the importance of setting priorities for their lives and in making and keeping commitments to God, their family and those with whom they come in contact.

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