Enjoying The Lenten Journey
Someone at church yesterday told me that he was having an incredible season of Lent. He shared with me that he felt like he was fully engaged in it--that he was all in. I felt his joy as he told me all of this, and I've been thinking about it ever since.
The truth of the matter is, I do feel a tremendous sense of joy entering into this particular season of Lent. Lent is a time of refinement and preparation, and I feel like God is doing some serious refining and preparing in my life right now.
It is the first Lent I am sharing with my new congregation, and staff, and I'm having so much fun exploring what it means to do this together for the first time. Merideth and I are having the time of our lives as we discover where God is directing us in our new call here in Austin.
We are also moving into an amazing home with all of our kids and my parents under one roof, and it's been a challenge to do all of that while balancing life, work, kid's stuff, and so much more. There have been more than a few times this month when we've felt overwhelmed... but we've never once felt overcome.
We are choosing to live into God's promises during this season of preparation, and trusting that by following Jesus we'll experience the joy and resurrection on the other side of the challenges of this Lenten journey.
It's not always easy to envision the glory of Easter when you're putting one foot in front of the other in this path to the Cross of Holy Week. But, we know that the dawn will break, the tomb is empty and Jesus is risen, and on the move.
I was reading a poem by Eugene Peterson today and one line spoke to me deeply. "Whatever God has promised," he wrote, "gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus."
My prayer for you today is that you will step fully into this season of Lent. Find joy in the preparation. Let all of the things that are keeping you from being refined and made ready fall away from you. Trust that the "Yes" of Jesus will be stamped all over your hopes and desires for a holy, complete and fulfilled life in Christ.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.