Lent Day 40 – Faith Found

Clear Vision – Reconciliation

Deep within the caves of Kentucky, I had the utmost experience of pitch black darkness. So dark in fact the pupils of my eyes could not adjust wide enough to see my hand less than an inch away from my face. The only way to know that someone else was physically there was by touch. Holy Saturday is the third day of the Triduum, we the guilty are buried with Christ the innocent. Yet in darkness, we are not alone as a quieted Spirit actively waits. It matters not how long or dark the tomb in which the believer is laid. Forty days or 40 years, our clarity of faith comes from within. We are forgiven and not forgotten

The season of Lent helps us to remember that we are but dust and the first signs of our disconnectedness to the Power over all creation. Early in this journey with Christ, by our own lack of faith we question God’s commitment. We soon learn to navigate the wilderness which affects our faith by allowing God to chip away at the doubt. We make straight the way by putting all manner of things aside that have no part in this journey and emerge strengthened by the once smoldering light that is now an intense burning flame within. It becomes clear that the Light desires to go ahead of us. When we finally reach the foot of the cross, anything that is still hanging on is stripped away in preparation for a new thing; fully naked, a reconciled spirit for God’s ultimate glory and not our own.

Who can command and have it done,
   if the Lord has not ordained it?… 

Let us test and examine our ways,
   and return to the Lord.
Let us lift up our hearts as well as our hands
   to God in heaven.

I called on your name, O Lord,
   from the depths of the pit;
you heard my plea, ‘Do not close your ear
   to my cry for help, but give me relief!’
You came near when I called on you;
   you said, ‘Do not fear!’     Lamentations 3:37-58

 

 

 

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Finding Faith In God’s Forgiveness

First Signs

Without thinking about it you reach for the jar of chunky bars, carefully unwrap the foil and take a bite. About half way through, you remember you’ve given up chocolate for the season of Lent. It was a way of pacifying your anxious moments. Years ago it served as a mere break. In fact you never even finished the entire bar. These days it has become a crutch for every moment you wish would simply go away but never seems to dissipate. Particularly on bad days, chunky bars don’t stand a chance.

The first time we seriously engage in a Lent, we don’t know if we are going to make it. We recognize that whatever it is that we have decided to sacrifice is something that has the potential to be abused by us. We not only want to let go of the cycle; we need to let go of the cycle. It’s so easy in life to hold on to some things far too tightly and convince our selves that they are necessary to survive. Yet, for fear of “missing out,” we forget that we can always walk away from the jar full of chunky bars, the fantastic shoe sale, or the ever popular collectible item that calls our name. The desire to let go indicates that something else is calling our name. A first sign  of God’s grace is when we begin to replace the thought of “missing out”, with praise and thanksgiving for God’s strength to resist the temptation. The more time we give to praise, leaves less room for regret of missing out, as we build up the strength to let go of  the things we don’t need.

So too in our spiritual journey, the tighter we hold on to feelings of regret, guilt and trespass; the harder it is to let go. Let us remind ourselves to let go of those past frustrations in the same way we let go of that chunky bar. Perhaps at first we won’t be successful but as we learn to hold to those things less tightly, we can take courage and realize that in spite of the setbacks, we survived! Give praise and thanksgiving and know that God has already forgiven us. As we grow, no longer will we desire or need to listen to the “chunky bars” in life, because we are listening for the higher calling and we are free to continue to live into his eternal grace.

Lent Day 2

Dust To Dust

this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God  Philippians 3:12-21  In between the dust life happens. Leave the past where it belongs – in the past. You can’t change it. Let God’s wisdom of today keep your heart on the one true goal.