Monday, March 19, 2018

The Home Stretch of Lent

Can you believe it? I saw "Fifth Sunday of Lent" at church yesterday, and had to flip forward to remind myself that, yes, next week is Holy Week. Wow.

I'm excited. I have to admit that I didn't suddenly perfect my Lent after my issues starting, but focusing in better has made me better at what I was doing. This Lent, though, has been a lot less about what I'm doing and a lot more about what God is doing. My Lent, if anything, has just been about giving God a little more space and letting go for Him to do whatever He wants. I'm looking forward to sharing more about that, but I'm still processing some of the subtleties.

In the meantime, during Evening Prayer the other day, this translation (of unknown origin) for Philippians 2:12-15 really caught my eye:
Work with anxious concern to achieve your salvation. It is God who, in his good will toward you begets in you any measure of desire or achievement. In everything you do, act without grumbling or arguing; prove yourselves innocent and straightforward, children of God without reproach.
I know that any good that I do comes from God, but the idea that it is God who begets even any desires that we have, when they are good desires, is what made me sit up and take notice. Any desire to grow closer to Him during Lent, comes from Him. Any desire to heal relationships, or repent or any of the other things that we desire but can't always make them happen; they are all from Him.

In particular (you knew it had to come back to this), I think of my desire to be married and have children. I feel very strongly that I am called to marriage, and I am working through what it means if that doesn't happen. It is not that I don't think that it will happen; it could happen at any time. But the reality is that no matter how great our desire, sometimes it doesn't happen. But that wording... "It is God who... begets in you any measure of desire..." I don't know what might or might not happen, but I know that fruit will come from any desire that comes from God.