Spring is coming...But slooowly. Every year it happens this way. Just when we think we can't stand another day of being cooped up inside, of cold winds and shoveling....Just when the snow starts to melt and we are treated to a 40 degree heat wave...
*sigh* This is the way it must go. One before the other every year. The snow and slush, dark days and bitter chills must come before the Spring.
In a similar way, I would dearly love to skip Lent and jump right to Easter this year. Lent is coming so soon and with it a time of seemingly endless waiting. Forty days of fasting and prayer in imitation of Christ's time in the desert. But I confess my laziness and desire for every physical comfort. I don't want the effort of preparation and purification...I want the flowers and the bunnies right now!
It is synonymous to the whole life of a Christian. We wait for our personal and final Easter morning when we meet our Jesus face to face. But it's not time for most of us yet. First, we must accept that period of waiting and preparing...And many times that means dark days and bitter cold. Times of suffering and hearts desperately seeking a morning filled with Lilies and feasting!
But this time of preparation is all a part of God's plan and it is His will that we embrace our trials so that we might be ready for Him when He comes. This is a time to dig out our most deeply rooted obstacles to living a life of true joy and to examine our hearts to an uncomfortable degree in order to purify them and rid them of the stain of sin. It is a time to reduce worldly distractions and influences...Return to a life of prayer so that we might grow closer in knowledge and love to the One Who is asking for our hearts. During Lent, we come face to face with the Cross and have the opportunity to embrace more deeply an authentic life in Christ...And when we are united to the Cross we must accept that we will share a portion of His suffering.
We are an "Alleluia People" and live with the hope of Easter on our hearts...But let us not forget that there is no Easter without Calvary.
There is no doubt that I'd rather jump right to Easter this year but there's no going around it. Just as our Lord didn't choose to skip over any of the trials on the Via Dolorosa, there's no skipping Lent. So, I'm going to take my Jesus by the hand and walk right through it.
Come, Lord Jesus...Be my strength!