Lent: A Time of Trusting God
Have you ever done a trust fall? You know what I’m talking about…a bunch of people stand behind you holding out their arms and you fall straight back, trusting they aren’t going to drop you and bruise or break numerous parts of your body.
A trust fall is a matter of trusting the people around you for a few moments; however, Jesus’ trust experience lasted 40 days. Scripture tells us that Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Spirit, right after he was baptized. (See Matt. 4:1; Luke 4:1.) While Jesus was there, he fasted and was tempted by the devil, yet he chose to place his trust in God.
Lent is a time during the church year that we remember those 40 days in the wilderness and the complete trust Jesus put in God for that time period and for his entire life. Lent is a time to reflect on where we are spiritually with God. What is our trust level like?
From Proverbs 3:5-6 (The Message) we read:
Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
[God is] the one who will keep you on track.
We often put our trust in ourselves and our own plans. We believe that if we can just plan hard enough, smart enough, or long enough, then everything will work out fine.
So, we sail along smoothly following our own plans and ignoring God until one day devastation hits and, despite all our
well-laid plans, we find out we can’t do everything by ourselves.
Lent is a time of metanoia, the Greek word for repentance. It means a complete change of heart. It’s a time to pray deeply, spending extra time with God, discovering where change needs to occur in our lives, then working on that change with God’s help. Loving Christ deeply is at the center of Lent, and with love comes trust.
The road to the cross was not an easy one, and Lent is not meant to be so either. Scripture tells us: “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24, NRSV).
During Lent we are being asked to die to and let go of those parts of ourselves that are keeping us from a real and loving relationship with God…a relationship that consistently focuses us away from ourselves and toward Love.