I Lament During Lent

Lament, as a verb, means to regret deeply. Anticipating Easter, Christians all over the world use the season of Lent as a time of introspection. When I self-search it leaves me lamenting. There are so many ways I have failed, so many hurts I have inflicted, so many good deeds I have left undone. It could get really overwhelming except for the fact that I know Easter is coming. Easter took care of all my past sins and allows me to start fresh every day. Easter saves me from despair.

It’s good to be memorizing Colossians 1:21, 22 (NIV) this week:

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-

I can let go of all the guilt and self-incrimination because He made a way for me to escape.  All I have to do is take that way of escape. Lent gives me intentional time to think about all I have been forgiven, and when I do, I realize the vastness of His sacrifice, for He not only did this for me, but for each and every one who believes.

May you, too, be able to let go,

Dawn

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6 comments on “I Lament During Lent

  1. Dawn. I’m memorizing Philippians. The sleep thing makes memorization a huge challenge. I was an actor in college – I know how to memorize huge chunks of text – the sleep thing messes with the mind sometimes. All that to say I feel like a slacker becaue I’m only on verse 14 of Philippians 🙂 Any rate I loved this. We were nobody’s people – and now we are His people. Introspection is fine – but not suffering – because we know we are his. Hearted this!!!

    May God Bless and Keep you and all of yours this day

  2. Oh, my goodness, thanks for stopping by. I hadn’t firmly made the point, but you did, “introspection is fine, but not suffering.” Yes, yes, yes…that needed to be in here. It is the missing truth that links my lament to His sacrifice in a positive way. He did the suffering so I wouldn’t have to. I just have to let go. Thank you, my Friend.

    I want to say a little something about your “feeling like a slacker” concerning memorization. You mentioned your college days, well, when I was in college (please bear with me, this is not a case of oneupman’sship, truly) my biology lab partner had a true photographic mind. I’d take a half hour to read the instructions. He’d glance at the assignment and read the instructions from his mind AS we worked. We’d be out of that lab in less than an hour while others toiled on for three. Testing was a snap for him, too. He never had to study because he had the whole text of the book in his mind for instant retrieval. Talk about feeling left behind… Do what you can do, the best you can do it and God will use the results. Ann reminds us to think what He did with just 5 loaves and 2 fishes in a crowd of 5000!

    I must go now, over to Deep Into Scripture,
    Be blessed,
    Dawn

  3. Dawn, this is like grocery day in our small town… running into so many people you know, it takes forever to get the shopping done. But I always leave your blog feeling like I’ve been in my Holy Father’s presence. Even if I absolutely can NOT memorize any more. Hummmm, maybe there’s a plus in that, also, I just keep returning and re-reading….. and Paul always stops me in my complaints to remind me to practice, stand firm, learn. You and Craig and Ann are huge encouragers! As Craig says “I HEART you–lots!”

  4. Thanks for your kind words and the joy they brought to my tiredness just before going to bed. It’s getting warm here in PA. Lots of newness when I am outside.

    Thankfully,
    Dawn

  5. “We were nobody’s people-and now we are His people”. I love what this says!

    Dawn, your post awakened two things in me, both not at all likely in line with your intentions-isn’t that how these things can be sometimes? Unexpected…not knowing what we will discover and experience. So, the two things: first, that I come from a very non-orthodox/Catholic tradition, and lately have had a growing curiosity about some of the traditions such as Lent-and how you are using it for intentional reflection of a specific thing! I like that! I want to learn more about the various practices like observing the Lenten season to see what I may be able to find helpful as I begin venturing. It seems like they are sort of markers that one stops at and participates in to facilitate remembrance of important things and to help us learn more about Jesus, and to focus our attention in habitual and specific ways. What would you add to this or how would you better explain this? What is meaningful to you about the various practices or traditions that you have?

    Second, that you are memorizing an entire book of the bible! This awakens something in me that has long been asleep…for a couple of reasons…but I like the awakening! Wow! I think I will have to begin with a verse, then a few more, then a chapter, and then see how far I get. What is exciting is the thought of searching out which book I would like to memorize first! Always before, memorizing was mostly a ‘should’. For the first time, it is emerging as a definite ‘want’.

  6. Dearest A.,

    I write this with big tears in my eyes…that you would see Jesus and want what He has for you just as I want what He has for me binds us in this moment in time as few people ever get to be bound. Perhaps God was preparing me for this moment (along with many others) when I found Ann Voskamp’s blog about a year ago. I want to refer you over to her because, like you, her church tradition did not include Lent and she blogs about incorporating Lent into her family life and then trying to explain it to her brother who was wondering about it for himself. I think you will be blessed.
    http://www.aholyexperience.com/2011/03/why-do-lent-why-a-failing-lent-actually-succeeds-a-booklist/

    I refer you to Ann, too, because she is the one who got me started memorizing Colossians. She began a Facebook page and there are over 900 of us working together, committing to one another, accountable weekly for memorizing this book of the Bible. The page is Colossians in a Year: 2 Verses per Week
    http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/pages/Colossians-in-a-Year-Just-2-Verses-a-week/173595466009216
    Our mutual friend Craig is memorizing Philippians with another group. He can tell you about that. I LOVE that book and it may be my book for next year.

    You say that traditions such as Lent seem to be markers that one stops at and participates in to facilitate remembrance of important things and to help us learn more about Jesus, and to focus our attention in habitual and specific ways. Yes, yes, yes I am learning, much too late in life, that one has to be intentional about important things. If we do not deliberately stop and take the time, we never get to the important. Life is so full of busyness and attention to the temporal. The physical can be a black hole that sucks everything into it and leaves us barren. I think Jesus knew this about us so He instituted ceremony so we’d stop and know He is God. Sabbath rest and worship, communion: “Do this in remembrance of Me”… and to take time to love one another.

    Dear A, I must attend to my temporal body: go get lunch for me and my husband and then attend a continuing education seminar at my work. I pray the few suggestions God brought to mind for me to share with you are what you need. He knows.

    Enjoy the journey,
    Dawn

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