To Love & To Lead: Staff Discussions

WHAT ARE YOU GIVING (UP) FOR LENT?

Posted on Mar 5, 2019 by Roger Goins

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Ash Wednesday begins the 40-day period that we call Lent.  Lent lasts 40 days in commemoration of the 40 days that Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for His ministry.  It is a time for reflection and repentance.  It is a time to prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Often for us, it’s a time to give up chocolate and soft drinks.

I don’t mean to make light of chocolate or diet Mountain Dew; they are both staples in my personal diet.  But I think we approach Lent without much thought.  Someone may ask, “What are you giving up for Lent?”  We reply without even asking the Lord.  We reply without dread.  And, let’s be honest; most of us will only make it through a couple of weeks anyway.  So what are we to do?

What would Jesus do?  What did Jesus do to prepare for His resurrection? He prayed!  He begged and pleaded with God!  He listened to God!  Luke 22:39-46 describes the scene vividly.  The anguish, the dread, the fear that Jesus felt in Gethsemane even exceeded that of His actual crucifixion.   Matt Papa (one of the artists I like to play during my occasional runs) calls Gethsemane “The Crucible of God.”  Listen here.  Crucibles are used to melt metals, to purify them and to mold something new.  When He had accepted His mission; when He had decided to submit to God’s will for His life, He was able to stand and move forward.  There was still pain to be sure. Scripture gives us absolutely no reason to believe that Jesus had any fear after that point.

Isn’t this true for each of us?  We worry and fret over (you fill in the blank).  When we finally are forced to decide, we find it is not nearly as bad as imagined.  So my question to you is “What will you decide” this Lenten season?  Is there a family decision over which you are agonizing?  Maybe you are putting off a decision about your business.  Maybe you know what the Lord has called you to do and it doesn’t fit into your plans.   Maybe it fits your plans but you’re afraid it will be painful.  Proverbs 16:3 says “Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.”  Once you make that decision the dread, the fear, the agony can end.  You can come out of the crucible and face the future. 

In case you’re wondering, I do have some important issues to discuss with the Lord and I’m probably not giving up my chocolate or Diet Dews tomorrow.  What about you?



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