Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; The things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind
Change can be scary. New opportunities, new growth are sometimes overwhelming. But when we trust in God’s providence, we open are minds and our hearts to the possibilities that He has for us, especially when we do not know what those are.
The season of Lent is about transformation and change. And while you may not initially have taken it seriously, chances are you’ve changed your mind by now. If you are done shaking your first at God and asking Him all of the why questions associated with this pandemic, you are probably exhausted and emotionally spent. Now it is time to focus on the work that God has for you.
What I love about Lent is that even if you are not a Catholic or Christian, you can still use it as a practice of change, still focus on the life of Christ and understand who He was and why He came. In the world, there are no explanations for suffering that have a happy ending. But this is not true in the life of Jesus.
Redemptive suffering is a message I have been teaching for some years now. It is the heart of my ministry to others. How to live and how to suffer well. In redemptive suffering, we understand that the cycle of life that God has ordained has a purpose, and that all pain and suffering is transformed into joy when the God of the universe is involved.
Lent is a continuous journey of darkness and light. Of bringing the things to God which need reformation, including our suffering. Christ takes the most dire of situations and transforms them under the provisional care of His marvelous light. We begin to see that without suffering, without trial we will not come to Him, we will not understand His purpose. But when we bring him our suffering as a fragrant offering, He will take it and make something so beautiful that you will not even recognize where it came from in the first place.
Christ does not want us to live in the past, He wants us to walk forward, shedding the old self in favor of the new. And how do we do that? How do we stop pouring new wine into old wineskins? We make a choice to change. We are honest with ourselves about what needs to change. We bring our hurt, our pain and our ego before God and ask Him to transform it and to give us renewal.
We allow Him to perfect us in the place that we are, not in the place where we want to be
Use your time wisely. We have many days ahead of us as we co-labor with God to put an end to this deadly virus. Clear your space and your mind so you can focus on these questions:
What have I not brought to God that is holding me back in my life?
What feelings, emotions or thoughts are keeping me from real change?
Do I believe that God can change me right where I am or am I focused on moving or getting away to run away from my problems?
Am I trying to put new wine into old wineskins?
Meditate on these questions as you bring them before our Lord and sit with Him awhile. Let the light of His face draw you in.
Let the silence act as a sounding board for your soul
Change is never easy but it is necessary if we want to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Are you ready?