This is currently the Season of Lent. It’s almost over – just a few more weeks. I have chosen to fast during this season, as I do every year. For some reason, this year it’s harder for me.
It’s not harder because what I’m fasting from is difficult – it’s actually been a lot easier than I thought it would be. It’s not harder because I’m in some dark place or I’m faced with temptation on every side or I don’t have any support. Spiritual Life is…easy…right now. It’s difficult because of God’s grace – and how I want to take advantage of it.
One of our speaker’s, Rebecca Ray, spoke last night about this very topic and I realized that’s exactly what I’m struggling with right now. See, I do trust God. I believe in his grace. So much so, that I’ve adopted a “better to ask forgiveness than permission” attitude. For the most part, I’ve been able to stick to my promise to God – yes, I see this fast as something I’ve promised God I would do. I gave up something that I struggle with because sometimes I need a focused, steady, habit-building season to remove and add things in my life. It helps me make life-changing choices instead of temporary ones. But there have been these moments – tiny and big – where I broke my promise to God. I made an excuse and I made a choice. I counted on God’s grace to make those choices “not a big deal.”
Some might say it really isn’t a big deal. After all, I didn’t kill anybody. Maybe not, but a broken promise is a broken promise. See, my choices aren’t just about me and how they’ll affect me. They are about those around me too. Like my kids, who’ve caught me on numerous occasions breaking my promise and they’ve asked me about it. What kind of mom do they think I am that I can’t keep such an easy promise? Will I be able to keep larger ones? If I am the Jesus that they see, what I am teaching them about his promises?
So, thankfully, yes, God is full of grace. I know he has forgiven me. I will be asking my children for forgiveness as well. I’m praying for resolve and perseverance, and I’m going to make it to the end of this fast a better follower of Christ than I was before. I’m letting him teach me about his faithfulness and his promises, and I’m learning to want intimacy with him more than anything else in my life.
Jesus, thank you. Thank you for your forgiveness. Thank you that you are a promise keeper. Thank you for this season in my life and what you are trying to teach me. Give me the strength to obey you and keep my promises too. In your wonderful name I pray, Amen.