One day this week I was looking at the calendar and thought to myself, "It just doesn't feel like Lent." Compared to the past few Lenten seasons in my life that have been REALLY desolate, I feel fine. That's good, right?
Sort of. It's still the time of year that Jesus spent 40 days in the desert, being tried and tested in preparation for His upcoming ministry. How can I find the desert place when everything around me is springing life?
The answer is to stop looking around and start looking inward. That desert place still exists in my heart, looming not so deeply below its surface with tangled roots that anchor it straight into my soul.
Several years ago, in the quiet early dawn hours, I made a covenant with God. It wasn't out of desperation and it wasn't planned, but I made it. I have been following through with it in obedience of mind and body. Because God wants to bless me. Because it will heal me. Because (insert whatever) me. ME.
Now that the anticipated fruit of this covenant is nowhere to be seen, in the midst of this abundant life (I didn't ask for THOSE things) I find myself asking God,"What have you done for me lately?" (I asked for this OTHER thing, I frequently remind Him).
Firmly, quietly, the response to my cry is,"You have been faithful to the promise for your own sake. Now will you be faithful to it for Mine?"
Here is my answer today, Lord: Yes. But I am entirely dependent on You because I don't know how to live out this promise I made, how to love when I don't want to, and how to surrender control and let You work through me, instead of trying to work You into me.