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I have been contemplating Lent recently.
I am still fairly new to the practice of Lent, but it seems healthy in our spiritual lives to have a time each year when we examine the deepest places of ourselves.
Lent is a time of practicing our dependence on God by giving up something we are dependent on that is not-God.
Lent is a time of being alone and quiet in order to search out the deepest places of ourselves that we are still keeping back from God.
Lent is a time to give those places back to God so that He can heal them and make them whole.
I don’t yet know what Lent will look like for me this year.
I have been asking God how He wants me to die to myself during this season of Lent so that I can more fully be alive with Him when Easter arrives.
As much as I am tempted to try, we cannot skip over death and straight into resurrection glory.
I have been trying to listen to God during my times of silence and solitude with Him.
I have not yet heard any answers.
Perhaps it is because I am still so new to this practice.
Perhaps it is because He doesn’t have an answer for me.
Often He leaves the decision up to us.
Lent is also a time of looking straight into the face of death itself,
and seeing that, after all we have been through,
after all this world has to throw at us,
after all of the screaming and crying and groaning and God where in this hell are You,
God is still with us.
He is still Emmanuel.
He is still the One who came to us and died a gruesome death for us so that He could be with us forever.
He is the God of Lent and the God of Easter, and we cannot reach the one without suffering through the other.
So will you consider Lent with me?
Lent begins on March 6 with Ash Wednesday.
Take some time in the quiet before then and ask God how He wants you to practice this season of Lent.
And then be still and listen.
Maybe you will hear something.
Maybe you won’t.
Either way, you are beginning the work of dying to yourself so that by His grace you can live more fully and abundantly with Him.
If it would be of help to you, attached to this post are two links to a devotion that I have written for this season of Lent, one for the PDF version and one for the online version. It will take you through Ash Wednesday, the six Sundays of Lent, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday.
Take it and may God bless you through it.
You can download the PDF version by clicking here.
You can access the online version by clicking here.
Art credits: all photographs copyright Made Sacred 2019