Lent in Times of Prosperity
“Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven.”
Ash Wednesday is today, marking the beginning of the season of Lent, a church custom that prepares us for the joy of Easter. It’s easy to believe how much we need a Savior when things are going wrong. Even people who aren’t sure they believe in God will ask for prayer when there is an illness, a bankruptcy, a divorce, or a wayward child. But what about when things are good and we don’t see the obvious God-shaped hole in our life?
As I contemplated Lent from the comfort of my bathtub this week, I realized again how good things are in my life right now. And then I thought about how desperately I still need Jesus. I shamefully yelled at everyone in my family yesterday as we were preparing to go to the Broncos Super Bowl Parade. I get easily frustrated when my kids aren’t quick enough to obey. I suffer at various moments with vanity, sloth, pride, jealousy, greed, lust and gluttony.
This Lenten season, I am going before Him in a posture I haven’t adopted since childhood—on my knees, hands folded and head bowed. Laying in my king-sized bed with a breezy “forgive me for my sins” at night is not going to satisfy this longing I feel to get humble and honest about my sin.
When we are in seasons of prosperity, our faith is tested in more subtle ways. It isn't a time when we naturally cling tightly to God. We don't need to have faith in His ability to get us through something, acknowledging that our problem is bigger than we can handle on our own. When things are good, we can get lulled into forgetting that we need HIm .
I'm not falling for that one today. I know that I am in constant need of the forgiveness that He alone can offer. Time to drop by my bedside and get to confessing.
“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
~1 John 1:8-9