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Seeking Life in Lent

“Come, everyone who is thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you without money,
come, buy, and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost!
Why do you spend money on what is not food,
and your wages on what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
and you will enjoy the choicest of foods.
Pay attention and come to Me;
listen, so that you will live.”

Isaiah 55:1-3a HCSB

An hour and a half ago I realized today is the first day of Lent. We’ve been talking about it at church for a couple of weeks, how did I forget? But it’s here.

Immediately I wondered, “Am I going to fast? From what?”

I still had not decided. For years I wondered why anyone would fast from anything. It was not part of my tradition growing up and I used to think it was a legalistic practice, but I have come to see the value in the discipline.

I see that it is so easy to turn to things other than God when I am really wanting Him.

I see that I distract myself with entertainment, food, and other comforts, hoping that my real needs will go away without actually acknowledging them.

I see that Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?” (Matthew 16:24-26)

One of the many paradoxes of Christianity is this: If we seek to have a hold on our life, we won’t have life. But if we give our lives to Jesus, we gain more life than we could have imagined.

Why do you spend money on what is not food,
and your wages on what does not satisfy?

As I reach for the next cookie, click on Facebook, or buy a new t-shirt I often think, “This is what I need. This will make me happy.” Only to find the next day that I am still unhappy, still seeking satisfaction, still longing for life.

Pay attention and come to Me;
listen, so that you will live

In order to be united with Him, to experience a bit more of the abundant life He has promised (John 10:10), I have chosen, decided to fast from Facebook for Lent. When I realized that it would be hard was when I realized that I need to do it.

What about you? Where do you go for life? Can you give it up to find God?

“When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 12:13


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