We often speak of Lent in terms of a desert. For 40 days, Jesus withdrew to the desert to fast and pray. We do the same, though figuratively speaking. For the 40 days of Lent, we devote ourselves to increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
For awhile now, I’ve realized that I need to cut down on the noise in my life. The sources of that noise are many: various social media platforms, music in the car and at home, and reading many news stories that either leave me disturbed or are simply pointless in the grand scheme of things. This is basically what my Lent is revolving around: reducing the “noise” in my life in order to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Though being deprived by fasting of various types resembles going into the desert, there is fruit. We are being pruned, old habits cut away so that there is room to bear new fruit. Our hunger pangs can point us to something–Someone— greater.As we follow Jesus into the desert, it’s a great way to grow in intimacy with Him. Letting go of some of our earthly delights invites in His heavenly love. The time that I spent on the noise now holds silence instead, a perfect opportunity for Jesus to speak to me or I to speak to Him. My heart is being freed up to better love Him and others.
How’s your Lent going? Is there anything you’d like me to keep in prayer? I’m so grateful to be on this journey with you!
I feel like my Lord is leading me into the desert. The old routines and ways of life that I’ve followed for years will change. The daily circles that surround me will be different. It’s amazing how much we like to be comfortable as humans, and how difficult
it can be to truly embrace change. I’ve been aching for change and known that He’s leading me to new paths, but I didn’t realize how difficult it could be to change course. I didn’t realize how much struggle there would be interiorly. When I decided to surrender my life to Him, I didn’t know how unexpected the journey would be. Oh, yes, there are so many blessings! He provides over and beyond in every area of my life. Yet it is not at all what I ever expected. When push comes to shove, the newness will be uncomfortable. I will be challenged in every way. The only stability I can hold onto is my Jesus. And shouldn’t He be everything?How easily we humans become attached to people, places, and routines!
“The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.” — Pope Benedict XVI
Jesus is our Shepherd. Not just any shepherd, either: He’s the Good Shepherd.As the priest at Mass reminded me today, a shepherd knows what is best for His sheep. The shepherd leads the sheep where they need to go and ensures that they are nourished and safe. I can trust, too, that He is leading me somewhere good. The Good Shepherd knows what is best for this little lamb of His–and for you, too!
Friend, don’t fear the desert season. He will be our Living Water and our nourishment in the desolation. He will lead us through the desert and sand. He will lead us exactly where we need to be. One day, we will find that we have made it out of the desert. We can trust that there will be abundant fruit after the desert.Follow His voice, and He will be with you all the way.
Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.