Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4
If you’ve ever been on a long trip in a car with kids you know the question that always comes. Usually before even 10 minutes have passed we hear from the back seat, “When are we going to be there?…..Five minutes later, “How many more minutes?” Children want to have some sense of where they are on the trip and how much longer can they expect to sit before they can be free from the confines of the car, train or airplane.
As we all live through the ongoing pandemic we might have this same feeling. How much longer are we going to have to wait until we can be free from this? If we think about the people of Israel as they journeyed through the wilderness for those 40 years the question surely came to their minds as well. How much longer Lord? As Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness, the question may have come to his mind as well.
These times of waiting on the Lord in the desert revealed something very good and hopeful to Israel and later to Jesus. They came to see that God was with them, feeding them with enough manna for the day, and guiding them with His presence. Israel learned to trust in God on a much deeper level. Jesus came to trust that he was indeed the Beloved of God and entered his ministry prepared to give everything in service to his Heavenly Father. The waiting and struggle were preparation for more of God in their lives. Step by step, God is experienced as trustworthy and gracious.
During this Lenten season, when all we want is to get out of the place we are in, I wonder if the invitation is to see what the Lord is up to in all this. Could it be that in these days of restrictions and separations that this is precisely the place where God longs to meet us and love us, so that we can love him and serve him in ever deeper ways?
This Lent as you intentionally seek the Lord, may you experience grace and renewal in the Holy Spirit.
/ Pastor Chris