Open heart and open mind for Jesus during this season of Lent.
I know everyone is not observing Lent- I am not Catholic, but my mom is, and Lent is observed within my family. I participate. This year I chose my sacrifice to be my all time favorite-Chocolate. I can't even begin to tell you how many times chocolate is in front of me during the day.
Early in the morning – hot chocolate, midday my co-worker offers me candy, lunch the desert is chocolate, mid-afternoon I think of the chocolate I wanted, evening when I go into my freezer for ice- there is the remnant of my valentine’s heart – chocolates in a zip-lock... Ummmmh, I can smell chocolate just thinking about it.
The thing about Lent is that each of these conscious thoughts of chocolate make me change my mind and think of Jesus. I know that Jesus prayed so hard about his situation in the days leading up to his crucifixion that he even asked God, did it have to happen?
32They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." 33He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."
35Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36"Abba,[e] Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
Jesus surrendered his life. He died for our sins. Giving up chocolate for 40 days is a petty thing to give up compared to the gift Jesus gave. Even more so, he surrendered to death- God’s will.
I sometimes don’t feel I have the willpower to say no to chocolate, but I do pause and give a moment of thanks to Jesus, no less than 15 times a day in addition to my prayer time. Thinking of Jesus as my Lord and Savior during these 40 days will create a habit within me that will last longer than Lent.
Even if you are not observing Lent, take time to think of Jesus and what he must have been going through leading up to his day on the cross.
Can you surrender to God’s will?
Pray. Whatever sacrifices you are making- give them over to God and he will bring you through them.
Grace and mercy to you from God our father.