Hey, how is it going?
'It' being your Lenten journey.
Are you feeling the withdrawal yet from giving up caffeine? Are you battling the urge to watch just five minutes of Fox News? How is the prayer/meditation time going?
Is the wilderness as bad as you imagined it would be?
Hey, you're not alone in this journey. In taking up our crosses, we do so together. When I wander from mine, it is my prayer you will lead me back and help me pick it up. When I begin to set my sights on being more relevant than reverent before God, I want you to remind me to get behind Jesus, not in front.
Remember, Lent is not only about us becoming more aware of our brokenness. It is also a time when we must emphasize the love and acceptance God still has for us, despite how many times we fail to pick up our crosses and follow Jesus. It is true, Jesus sees our suffering. And it is also true, Jesus sees us in our moments when we are adversarial like Peter, preoccupied with our interests and possessed with our ideals. Christ listens when we do our best to create him in our image and force him into our likeness. Jesus, however, took on our humanity, just as it is, with all its bitterness and fearfulness, and gave it back to us just as his humanity is, transfigured by the beauty of his living, filled full of his joy. In Lent, we recall how we are first a people of the resurrection, going on always, always giving back to Christ's life to the world.
Though we may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, arriving there by our own doing or not, God is with us-meeting us with the whole power of the love that has overcome all death's valleys.
Hey, you're doing great. The work, and yes, it is work, you're putting in is transforming your heart. Trust the process of Lent, this time of renewal and grace. God is moving towards you. You don't have to resist or earn this gift. Let God clothe you with goodness and mercy; allow Christ to touch the wounds of your heart; and receive the Spirit's gentle caress, one that is as gentle as the daffodils springing forth outside your window.
Jesus told Peter to trust him. To do so, Peter needed to turn his attention to divine things. When we listen to Christ's command, it is then we will see Christ's compassionate and healing presence in our midst.
We are on our way, friends. The wilderness is getting more wild with each step, but each step brings us closer to the heart of Christ and one another.