Friday, February 19, 2021

Lenten Garden 2021

Filling our desert garden with sand and rocks- setting the tomb in the corner- assembling a cross to be the focal point for lent is such a grounding ritual for me. I have to slow and ponder the wilderness Jesus faced for 40 days, examine the ways I am tempted like He was to be relevant, to be spectacular and to be powerful (Henri Nouwen- In the Name of Jesus) and the confess the things I've clung to besides Jesus. 

this year I've also been reflecting on the desert season we have been walking through since leaving Uganda. Throughout this past year we have felt useless, hidden, unnoticed, hurting and weak. We are the ones who have needed support and prayer- not the ones offering it. And to some degree 2020 was a lengthy lenten wilderness for most of us. 

Quarantine hit in the midst of lent last year and it doesn't feel like we've been released. As we stayed home and kept our social distance some ugly things rose to the surface of our hearts- things that were easier to avoid when we kept busy.  Maybe frustration, anger, impatience, fear, desire for control rose to the surface for you. Maybe you were stuck in households with people you love and unhealthy habits or patterns were exposed. 

So this lent I sense that the Lord longs to be gracious to us. He knows we've kind of been stuck in a lenten desert for a year. And if you've let Him deal with some of those temptations, patterns and sins this year you may be feeling a renewed intimacy with Him (such a gift from a very difficult season). But maybe He has been putting His finger on some things and you've refused Him access. Could you enter in to this lenten season and surrender those to Him? He walks with us to the cross and promises resurrection life and freedom on the other side!

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