CrossEaster is my favorite holiday. I love spending the period of Lent focusing on my faith as we build up to Holy Week. And then there’s Communion on Maundy Thursday, the utter desolation of Good Friday, and the perfect joy of Easter. It’s a time of year rife with meaning and what a story with the best ending ever. I do love a good story.
So, as we begin this season with Ash Wednesday in two days, it’s time to think about how I will spend Lent. Last year, instead of giving something up I worked on adding the fruit of the Spirit. It was wonderful. So I racked my brain to think of something equally meaningful for 2014. And then it came to me. There is something I need to give up for Lent.
Man, and I thought French fries were hard.
I’m not a terribly fearful person, but my life is littered with little (and a few not so little) fears. Fear of failure, fear of being disliked, fear of appearing foolish, fear of bridges (well, just the really high, narrow ones), fear of being stung by a bee (hello, I had an allergic reaction once), fear of–well–that’s enough for now.
And why am I afraid? I think it basically boils down to a fear of being uncomfortable. I don’t want to suffer–not even a little bit. But God had a few things to say about the benefits of suffering, didn’t he?
As I’ve pondered this idea of giving up fear for Lent, it’s occurred to me that the opposite of fear isn’t courage. It’s FAITH. Faith that momentary failure leads to future success. Faith that being disliked by people doesn’t matter so long as I’m loved by God. Faith that God isn’t going to let me fall off a bridge. Faith that even if I do get stung by a bee, God will take care of me. After all, He promised to.
Isaiah 41:10 – So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Tune in next Monday as I report back on week 1 of giving up fear.