In the past, it seems to have had a bad feel.
“What are you giving up for Lent?”
That is the question I heard over the years. But we are humans and the concept of giving up doesn’t always come easy. We don’t give up in a game because we want to win. Our jammed packed closets testify we don’t give up our clothes, no matter what size they may be. And storage units and pods in driveways state we don’t want to give up our stuff.
Not even a week into Lent and here is what I have already learned….
No matter what we have given up, we truly do not give up anything. We gain.
I am humbled as I have realized in my giving up, I have gained more than I could have ever surrendered. Somehow in these five short days, my awareness of Him has grown already. I am seeing His activity around me and in my life and in His Word (Scriptures below are taken from The Message and are found in Matthew) ….
- “We’re on a pilgrimage to worship him.”
- “He’ll put everything in its proper place before God.”
- “It takes more than bread to stay alive.”
- “With less of you there is more of God.”
- “Live generously.”
- “The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.”
- “Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.”
- “Become what you believe.”
- “Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.”
- “If you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.”
In giving up, I made room for something new, something to be gained. I must be emptied to be filled.
“It takes more than bread to stay alive.”
It takes The Bread of Life.