In Which I Realize My Need2
I started celebrating Lent three or four years ago. I thought that I was giving something up in order to honor God by showing Him that I could go without for 40 days. I would pick something that was usually fairly easy for me and had a dual benefit of being healthy and good for me, as well, and be all like, Hey, God. Look how awesome I am making you look because of all that I’m doing for you. I’m going without to give You glory and bring you honor.
Um, no. I wasn’t.
I guess the truth of it all is that I suck at Lent.
That’s right. I suck at Lent. Because all this time, I thought it was about me giving something up so I could show God how much glory I was bringing him. How He didn’t have to worry about me as much because I could do this for Him, and if I could do this, I could do just about anything.
I have a pretty good idea now that I’m wrong.
These last few weeks of Lent have reminded me over and over again, not how what I’m sacrificing is bringing glory to Him, but showing me how much I need Him. When it comes to the point when I break that vow…again…and I do it not really thinking about it, I realize just how much I need His Grace.
When the eating plan I had stuck to without cheating for 9 weeks becomes too much for me, so I eat a box of Thin Mints and a personal pizza just because I didn’t plan ahead and bring food? What happened the 9 weeks before? I planned ahead. I got it done.
But here there are no physical stakes. I won’t win money or win a competition if I stick with it. And the fact that I am having a harder time than I think I should be reminds me just how broken my thinking is.
See I don’t just need Jesus through the big things in life. I need him every day in every little thing.
I think my brokenness brings him more glory than showing Him my strengths.
He already knows I know where I’m strong.
He means to show me where I’m weak so I can lean more and more on Him.
His light will shine brighter through all my cracks than it could ever show if I try to hide them.
So today I’m thankful for all my cracks and wounds and scars. Without them I don’t know that I would understand grace or mercy or love in the ways that I do now. And I definitely know that God is doing great things in my life through the mess.
And for that I am thankful.