It was 6am on Friday, March 3rd. And per usual, the moment I heard that 6am alarm, I smacked my phone to turn it off (which then led to it falling onto the ground…this happens every morning and yet somehow I always forget to move my phone away from the edge of my night stand…I digress).
I got out of bed, half asleep, and walked down stairs. I started the hot water kettle, smelled the fresh coffee grounds, and then my eyes went wide with terror and I was reminded…today is the day we are fasting from anything other than water…so that meant…no…coffee. I was immediately irritable.
I stomped back upstairs to see my mature, loving husband smiling at me with sympathetic eyes and I proceeded to throw a tantrum like a 5 year old…not my best moment.
But by God’s grace it was in that moment that I realized…wow, I depend on coffee way more than I am willing to admit. So, I quietly got ready for the day (still irritable at moments), and asked God to give me strength, and even more so…lots of patience.
Now, that wise, gracious moment did not last the whole day…I yelled at people while driving to work, I snapped at people who said something “the wrong way,” I had full blown crazy eyes while waiting for someone to upset me…but this is what Lent is all about.
Lent is not about fasting perfectly, it’s about denying ourselves so that we can say yes to Jesus, and denying ourselves is hard. It’s not a pretty process, and God’s not surprised by that. However, the way we press on in those ugly moments is by asking God to be our strength, our patience, our peace, our everything.
And then, something incredible happens…we have moments where we are in awe that we aren’t needing/craving that “one thing” and we get to acknowledge that that strength comes from God within us.
Lent is an opportunity to cling to Jesus in desperation like never before, and then see how powerfully He provides in those desperate moments.
It has nothing to do with us - our goals and our accomplishments - and it has everything to do with God.
We have an opportunity to grow closer to God, in ways like never before, when we say no to things we’d rather depend on, and say yes to depending on God.
In moments during Lent, when you read what we’re fasting from and think “ugh nope, not today - it’s not realistic, it’s not possible, it’s not worth it,” be reminded that God wants to grow in relationship with you and this is a tangible way to do so. He doesn't expect you to do it perfectly, but He wants to help you grow in dependency on Him so that you can live life to fullest and freely.