Sunday, March 23, 2014

What Is Good: Discovering Lent

This year, my year of studying what it means to be inscribed, is bringing me to my knees. I didn't know what I was getting into when God laid that word on my heart a few months ago. He amazes me, the way He's tying things together - from Bible studies to scripture memory to my reading list - and bringing my one word for 2014 in a direction I never expected. 

Recently I shared how and why I'm memorizing Isaiah 55 with Hide His Word. I've read the chapter before, but when you're really studying something, you see it in a whole new light. A few weeks ago, verse 2 just reached out and grabbed me. I can't get it out of my mind.

Isaiah 55:2 "Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance."

Ouch. That verse describes me a little too well. How many times do I spend "wages for what does not satisfy"? How often do I chase after things that really don't mater, when I should be chasing after God? How much time do I waste every single day, when I could focus on the important things?

I can apply this verse to so many areas of my life: literal food (my eating habits, exercise, how I care for my body - a temple of the Holy Spirit); spiritual food (time with God, Bible study, prayer); daily food (how I spend my time and energy every day). When I look at it that way, Isaiah 55:2 really hurts.

All of this has brought on some major soul searching, and it's led me to something totally foreign to this evangelical girl - this year, for the first time, I'm observing Lent. Maybe not in the strict sense if the word. I'm didn't receive ashes and I'm not fasting anything, but I'm spending the weeks leading up to Easter focusing more on my relationship with Christ and doing an online study of Kris Camely's book Holey, Wholly, Holy. I'd heard wonderful things about this book. When the study was announced, I knew it was just what I need, and it fits perfectly with my one word.

On Ash Wednesday, I dove in - and within minutes, I was in tears. One thing God is showing me repeatedly throughout this year is that being inscribed isn't about some warm, fuzzy feeling. It's not about how I feel or what I think. In fact, the only aspect of "me" that's involved is realizing that I am nothing apart from Christ. I'm inscribed because of my sin, because I am helpless and lost and desperately in need of a Savior.

(Photo courtesy of Free Foto)

Jesus inscribed me on His hands, giving me everything - and I owe Him so much more in return. It's humbling. Honestly, it's made me realize how selfish I really am. He gave so very much, and I give so little in return. I make so many excuses.

I'm now in week two of my Lent study, and it's putting me on my face before God. I asked Him to reveal my sins to me. He's answering, and it hurts. I'm seeing myself as I really am. It's ugly. But God is also showing me the depth of His ugly, dark, broken heart, covered and cleansed by His unending grace.


  1. Thank you for the reminder from Isaiah 55:2. I need to work on the precepts found there, too. I think I spend a little too much of my time on Facebook :/.

  2. Thank you for your honesty. I have been incredibly self indulgent lately and I needed a reminder that I have more valuable things to focus on.


I would love to hear your thoughts!