“So will I always sing the praise of your Name, and day by day I will fulfill my vows.”
How Are You Doing?
As we are now in the second full week of Lent, some of you may be growing weary of your discipline. There is something exhilarating about beginning a journey like the Lenten fast. However, there is also something exhausting in the daily temptation to do what we have said we will not do. If you’re new to Lenten fasting and self-denial, this may be particularly true for you.
I remember one Lent when I gave up coffee, eggs, and desserts in the same season. Now for a coffee addict like me, that alone seemed a suicidal goal. Did I mention how much I love eggs? Eggs are, and always have been a part of my morning regimen. I couldn’t even imagine the idea of not eating eggs for 40 days! And desserts, well that seemed difficult around my birthday (which always falls in Lent), but I wasn’t nearly as addicted to desserts as I was to coffee and eggs.
Looking back, I realize I was completely misguided in my understanding of the purpose of a Lenten fast. I thought the purpose was to prove how strong I could be in my resolve to deny myself such pleasures. I thought I was somehow more holy for doing so. Did I mention I was a very young adult at that time? Oh well, no matter, I would probably fail at such an attempt even today in my mid 50’s. That is, I would fail if I attempted it for the wrong reason.
We must always remember our purpose for Lenten fasting and self-denial – to learn to surrender what we desire, for what God desires for us. If we can’t do that with food, how will we do it with the great things of God’s will that He desires for us?
God is not interested in our starving ourselves. However, He is interested in the surrender of our will to His for every detail in life. What better way to practice our surrender to God than through self-denial? The Psalmist says the only way to keep a vow to God (our Lenten fasts count as a vow) is to fulfill it day by day in praise to Him (Vs. 8).
How Are You Doing?
Today is day 13. How are you doing? If you’ve failed, don’t give up. As in all of life, so it is in Lent. Our God is always ready to give us another chance, to lift us up and set us back on a high place…to raise us from the ashes.
Grace & Peace for a Holy Lent,
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”