Let’s see what we can find out! Job repented in dust and ashes (Job 42: 6) but there is more to Lent than just imitating that. Jesus himself spent 40 days in desert fasting:
Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. (Matt 4.1-2, MSG)
The number 40 is very special in the Bible. You remember that Noah spent 40 days and nights in the Ark listening to rain falling down. Moses was away for 40 days and nights to receive the 10 commandments. The Israelites wandered around the desert for 40 years on their way to the Promised Land. All these numbers of 40. What’s the significance?
It symbolizes the preparation time for something new. In each of these cases something new was about to be born. The same way an expectant mother carries the developing baby for 40 weeks . The pregnant state is not always pleasant, it requires endurance and lots of waiting but it is a necessary part of birthing something new. That’s why also we observe 40 days of Lent in order to be changed, corrected, renewed.
I would say Lent is very biblical. What do you think?
If Lent really is a season of preparation we need to ask:
What needs to go in order to something new to be born in our lives?
What needs to be added in order to be prepared for something new?
This kind of reflection requires some solitude. In order to hear God’s gentle voice we need to linger in his presence and listen. Our lives are sometimes so chaotic that it is a blessing to have a season of Lent to urge us to quiet down and reflect on the most important things in life.
Thank you for being an awesome God!
Thank you for calling us to serve you!
Show us what needs to go and
what needs to be added in our lives.
Prepare our hearts and minds for you.
May your will be done in our lives,
nothing else, nothing more, nothing less.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What do you think God is up to in your life?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you search for God’s will in your life!
Photo courtesy of Ron Loveday