Give-In or Give-Up?
by: Bradley Jean
“It’s today it's today!! The first day of Lent!”
Are these the words ringing with excitement and joy for you this morning?
Maybe, or maybe not.
Yes, we like Lent. We talk about it. But what are we actually doing all these 40 days?
I’ve spent most of my adult life either doing nothing for Lent or ‘giving-up’ something. But that’s it.
I know I’ve given up some form of sugar at least a handful of times. I’ve attempted to stay off of social media. I’ve been more diligent in reading my bible, but I’ve never really felt the effects of a 40 day journey. Finally, praise the Lord, Easter arrives. Lent is over.
But, last year, something happened. I wanted something more. I wanted something close and meaningful and changing. I wanted something real and good. I wanted the closeness of God. Not just the thoughts and the good feels. I wanted God. Right next to me, God’s hope and God’s love all bundled up beside me. I had been there before and I wanted it back. I wanted to lean into God and give-in to God’s will for me.
God knows us best, better than we know us. God knew my heart before I did and He ever so easily and kindly laid a Lenten journey before me. All I had to do was say “Yes.”
I found out through one of my greatest inspirations, Hope Heals, that they were opening up fundraisers in the form of Races. As in running. All funds raised help to support their family camp they host every year in Alabama. Specifically for families with disabilities. I immediately knew this was for me.
“I can run,” I told myself. “I can run for 40 days and help support this ministry.”
And in the back of my mind, I was also thinking, “but can I? Who does stuff like that? This may be a little much…”
But I didn’t care, this was MY Lenten journey. This was my space to be neck and neck with my heavenly father, to go along with God’s program, and I would not let anything stop me. So I simply said “Yes.”
I gave all of me and I gave-in to God.
Have you ever thought how God speaks to us through a language and avenue uniquely to us? As in, God will reveal himself through a space that means the world to me but may mean nothing to my friend Christy ( and vice-versa). This was the running for me. The freedom, the pace, the doing, the aloneness… God knew He could get to me there, and He did.
There are places deep within us that only God can touch and know. Places that perhaps can only be revealed to the world through Him. This is our sacred space. The space where our deepest hope and love abides. Some of us let it go and shine it onto the world, but most of us don’t. It's stays hidden and secret. Our little piece of us, God and me.
But, what if we took 40 days of wonder to give-in to God and see where God takes us?
What if we leaned into God’s offering for us and not our offering to Him?
What if we gave into that still, small voice that’s been speaking to us for years?
What if there is something we’ve said “no” to for far too long and it’s time to say “Yes’?
Could God perhaps be revealed to you in the next 40 days in a way you never dreamed possible?
Give-in to God.
Give God 40 days of You!
God cast His perfect son upon a cross, arms open wide and bleeding. Jesus took every sin we have ever carried and he carries it for us. And in return, God simply asks us, “Follow me. Seek me. Come to me. Love, me, “ and God will gently lead you to a joyful resurrection Easter morning.
All we have to do is say Yes.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I want to feel you by my side. I want to give-in to you alone this Lenten season. I want to see you and touch you and I want to journey in wonder with you the next 40 days, You alone know me full and well Lord. May I lean into you, arms open wide to receive, just as your son received me. Thank you for caring for me Lord. Thank you for loving me. Bless me this day, that I may be still and know, that you are Lord.