Forty Days

Ash Wednesday, Lent: Forty Days till Easter. Many will choose to fast something, remembering Christ’s time in the wilderness, His time of prayer, fasting and temptation immediately preceding the beginning of His ministry. Often we abstain from a favorite treat, like chocolate, ice cream or some other goody we enjoy.

Yesterday we heard a sermon about Lent. The speaker suggested fasting some flaw in our personality, like pride, self-righteousness, or stinginess. “Humm,” I thought, “I have some suggestions for my husband….” I know I have flaws, too, but I couldn’t seem to put my finger on one.

The mind can roam in the shower. Yet again, mine wandered to comparing myself to another. Bingo! I need to fast measuring myself against others. My focus should be on the identity God has given me, on developing and using the gifts and talents He has chosen for me. If I look at others it should only be to cheer them on.

But how do you fast a mindset, a habit so ingrained?

“Seek and deeply long for the Lord and His strength [His power, His might]; Seek and deeply long for His face and His presence continually.” (Psalm 105:4, Amplified Bible)

It’s an ongoing choice that requires disciplined focus. Yes, the mind will wander, but where do we let it linger? Do we immediately replace the errant thought by turning to Jesus, asking His help keep us focused on Him, how he has gifted and equipped us?

Like the patches of a crazy quilt, each of us is different, each a unique work of God. He has given us a particular identity, formed us to play a special role in His plan, a part no one else can fill quite like us. Our Father wants us to humbly appreciate who He made us to be and, with a servant’s heart, use our unique gifts to do His will.

Help me, Father, to humbly appreciate who You created me to be. Help me be faithful to live the life You designed just for me.

(C) Debbie Lowe, 2019

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