Wednesday, February 27, 2013

February 27, 2013

Psalm 119:89-90
The Lord exists forever;
your word is firmly fixed in heaven.
Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.

As a child, I learned that Lent is a time of "giving up" something.  It had to be something I really liked, for example, a favorite food or activity.  The idea was to make a personal sacrifice so I would be reminded of the sacrifice Jesus made when He died on the cross for me.  As an adult, I learned that the forty days of Lent, and the fasting associated with it, represents Jesus' forty days in the wilderness where He faced and overcame temptation.

In prior Lenten seasons, I gave up things such as particular foods, television programs, and fasted for one meal each week.  Though I was mostly faithful for the forty days, when the time was done, so was I.  Sometime, someplace, I began looking at Lent as being about relationship - my relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  It was a gradual change; maybe, it started the first Lent when I decided to take time from worldly matters and spend time with God instead.  When that season was over, I did not give up that time to return to the busyness of the world, but kept it because the time intentionally spent with God became very important to me and to Him.

As I have journeyed through many Lenten seasons, I have come to the realization that Lent is also about "building up."  I have a corner in my bedroom where I spend time in daily devotions, and it is the place where I go to spend quiet time visiting with God.  I know God is with me all the time no matter what, but in my corner, He has my undivided attention and you know what?  I feel like I have His undivided attention, too! Because of that one Lenten season, I believe my relationship with my Father has deepened and grown.  But, quiet time alone is not the only element I have found for building up this relationship.  For me, quiet, still times, listening to and talking to God, is begun by journeying into God's Word.  Lent may mean different things to different people, but for me, it is about reflecting upon and growing my relationship with God.

For me, God does not exist in a vacuum.  God is here right now, patiently waiting for the present generations and those who actively seek Him.  God is faithful to us, His children.  Won't you join Him this Lent, find a quiet corner, and enjoy some time together growing your relationship, just you and God?

Let us pray ~
Dear Holy Father, Your Word, faithfulness and love are life-giving blessings in our lives.  Thank You for Your patience with us whether we are trying to "give up" something or "build up" our relationship, especially when we are slow to respond to Your presence.  Please let us feel Your presence with us as we make the time to be still and know that You are God.  Help us to build a relationship with You that honors You and shows Your light and hope to the world.  We pray in Your name:  Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

~Sandi Falstreau

Jeremiah 3:6-18
Psalms 71 or 119:73-96
Romans 1:28-2:11
John 5:1-18

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