Lent begins today. It’s a practice that many Christ followers around the world enter into for forty days, fasting something, changing the normal routine, intentionally giving our full attention to God. Yes. I’ve already begun a forty-day journey of gratefulness, it seemed good to get started a week early, to be ready for the week before Easter. And. Gratefulness is a lost spiritual discipline.
Anyway, the number forty signifies preparation and renewal in the Story of God . . . when Noah entered the ark during forty-days of rain around the world, as the earth was renewed from the darkness of sin . . . when Moses received the Ten Commandments after fasting for forty days . . . when God’s people wandered forty years in the desert, learning lessons of life before they entered the Promised Land . . . and of course when Jesus fasted and prayed for forty days in the desert before entering his public ministry.
Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning” Joel 2:12 (NASB).
Forty days of intentional gratefulness helps us to sort out what does and does not matter. And, at the end of the day, gratefulness is about giving ourselves completely to God, seeing that every good and perfect gift comes from the heart of God. Joel 2:2 is clear that we need to intentionally look at what has separated us from God, intentionally “re”-turning to God, giving all of ourself to God, intentionally engaging with the Source of Life. I’ve learned giving myself to God is centered on trust, purposefully responding to life in the way that matters, understanding the only reason I’m living the day is that God has willed it to be so. The thing is . . . to live with this kind of intentionality requires space to fast and pray . . . the forty-day season of Lent is just such an opportunity. And.
There’s something powerful about joining the community of Christ followers around the world in observing Lent. Pray about taking the time to fast something for forty days, whatever will help you to draw closer to God. And. Be grateful for the opportunity to give yourself to God.
Day 8 of 40-days of intentional gratefulness: Entering the season of Lent, grateful to fast whatever is necessary to draw closer to God.
Learning to Kickstart each day with gratefulness,
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)