Yep! We are still in that season.. almost all the way through March until we get to Easter Sunday on the 27th. This is an interesting time of year for my husband and I. We met on the day before Easter in 2001 and got married on the day before Easter in 2002.. we actually picked that day because of the significance of Easter in our relationship.. and of course there is our last name which is Feaster! So this season is a big one for us. We celebrate our anniversary soon at the end of March and the date we met which falls in the middle of April. I try to pay attention to what God is doing since He really got my attention almost 15 years ago when we met. It was a huge change for me to get married again after being widowed and having two bad marriages. The good new is that Steve is the love of my life and we have a really good relationship that continues to grow and thrive.
We’ve been though many trials together starting when we got married and both lost our jobs. It has been a pretty wild ride so far with lots of change and losses. So here we are many grandchildren later.. between us we have 13. Most of them were born during the last 15 years. God did something great when he brought us together, not just for us but for everyone in our families. It has been amazing and I am so thankful. Just a little background for you and some great reminders for me!
So what does God want for Lent? I don’t see this season so much as a time to give up things as a time to give things to God. What I mean is ” what is God after?” That is the question that I keep asking myself and Him. I got the answer this morning after reading the story of Moses not being able to enter the promised land. I have always wondered why that happened.. what did he do that kept him from entering after 40 years in the wilderness. Well.. it was actually pretty simple. He did not obey God. God told him to speak to the rock to bring out water and he struck the rock. But there is more.. he struck the rock in anger and frustration. He was angry with God’s people and he took out his frustration by hitting the rock and acting like he was making water appear. Not only did he decide to handle things in his own way, he made himself the center of things. God told him what to do and after leading Moses for all those years.. I imagine He thought Moses would do it.. that Moses trusted Him enough to speak to that rock calmly.. to show the people that God was providing what they needed.. but he failed and he did not enter the promised land.
Wow! That story totally struck a nerve.. I saw myself all over the place. My own anger and frustration with God’s people, my own desire to control things instead of letting go and doing it His way. Then I discovered what God wanted from me during this season. He made it really simple so I would not forget.. He wants my doubts, fears, and unbelief. These are the things that are under the surface of the anger and frustration. He wants me to trust Him so i can enter the promised land and not just see it from a distance. I am so grateful that He revealed this to me right now.. there is almost a month until Easter. It gives me time to show Him that I am listening to Him. A revelation of this type needs to be followed by acts of obedience that show God that I am taking this seriously. I won’t go into detail but there are things that need to change in my behavior and decisions and attitudes.
So as you seek Him during this season, don’t be afraid to see yourself as you truly are.. He is showing us things so that He can breathe new life into us.. Let’s agree to give Him what He desires for Lent.. Easter is coming soon!
We are celebrating this weekend. My husband and I have our anniversary on March 30th and this year it is the day before Easter. We met on the day before Easter 12 years ago and we got married a year later on the day before Easter..that year the date was March 30th. We actually picked our wedding date because we wanted it to be on the day before Easter. I love this time of year and I feel like we must be deeply connected to it. Even our last name, Feaster, has Easter in it:) God does have a great sense of humor!
We will celebrate our marriage tomorrow and then on Sunday we will celebrate the event that enables us to have this wonderful life that God has given us. We have so much to be grateful for. My life was in shambles 14 years ago and now it is overflowing with blessings that I could never have anticipated. This great God has given me abundant life, not a perfect life, but one overflowing … filled with new things that He is doing in me and around me. He is my source and my companion, my comforter and my friend.
Take time to appreciate God and His good gifts this Easter. Remember His goodness and His faithfulness. Easter is just the beginning of a brand new season.. embrace it . Watch for what God is doing and join in.. you will not be disappointed!
“Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19
Happy Easter.. I hope this day has been a wonderful reminder of our Lord and His great gift to us. For me.. I sense hope springing up like a beautiful flower..making it’s way up through the earth..reaching to the sky. Rejoice in this day.. He is with us.. He is for us..He has not forgotten us..He will keep us until that day!
Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy house of worship, praise him under the open skies; Praise him for his acts of power, praise him for his magnificent greatness; Praise with a blast on the trumpet, praise by strumming soft strings; Praise him with castanets and dance, praise him with banjo and flute; Praise him with cymbals and a big bass drum, praise him with fiddles and mandolin. Let every living, breathing creature praise God! Hallelujah!
Yesterday was Good Friday and tomorrow is Easter..so today is the day in the middle. We don’t know much about this day.. it had to be a terribly dificult day for those closest to Him. He was dead and in the tomb.. as far as they knew He was gone and so was their hope.
I can identify with that day in my own life..it reminds me of the many times when I have felt like He was gone. The silence was unbearable..He seemed to have left me ..shouldn’t I know better by now? The truth is.. we all experience times when we cannot feel His presence..when hope seems to have vanished..when the darkness surrounds us.
Is this day God’s way of showing us that there will be times like that? Surely Jesus could have resurrected the morning after..no gap..no waiting..no wondering. But that is not the way the story unfolds. There was a period of uncertainty and grieving. He appeared to be dead..it seemed to be over. Were they hopeful? Did they secretly wonder if He might reappear? We don’t know their thoughts and feelings.. but we do know our own.
There is only one thing that helps me when I am waiting in the darkness..remembering what He said in John 14.
“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God and trust also in me…I am the way the truth and the life…You can ask for anything in my name and I will do it. so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.”
I woke up this morning thinking about Easter..being over. If you have been reading my blog for any period of time you probably recognize my fascination with days before and after key events..holidays etc…this is linked to my temperament type. I am an ENFJ..we enjoy the bigger picture and love to see patterns in everything. Often in my life I will notice how something happens on a certain date and then later something else major happens on that exact date. The second event usually represents closure or completion. I met my husband on the day before Easter and married him a year later on the day before Easter…and our name rhymes with Easter!
So here we are on the day after Easter and I am mulling over the significance of this day. Going back in history it was a great day for the first disciples. Jesus was alive and they were getting tiny glimpses of something huge that they barely understood. Although He told them it would happen they probably had their doubts. Suddenly they were astounded by the truth. He conquered death and they were invited into His kingdom..to live forever. It sounds too good to be true even now.
But is it? No..it is His gift to us. We are included..accepted..we belong..He is for us..forever and ever! He promises us new life..new beginnings..healing from old wounds..restoration..renewal. Our part is to accept this great gift. To allow the truth of His promises to sink in..to receive everything that He has for us. It won’t happen all at once.. it takes a lifetime..a lifetime that prepares us for that step over the threshold into eternity. The real big picture is only partially revealed to us here. There is so much more to come. Embrace the new life that He has for you today..live fully and as you do..He will reveal Himself to you in amazing and surprising ways!
“But forget all that- It is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the wasteland.”
This is the week before Easter.. a very good time to do some soul-searching. As we approach the celebration of the time when God changed everything in a dramatic way we have the opportunity to examine our hearts..not in the way we often hear. I’m not talking about looking at our sins or evaluating our performance. Let’s look at the broken places and ask God to heal them. We all have them..they may be filled with unresolved guilt.. harsh words..unhealthy relationships..sorrow and broken dreams. We may be ignoring them by self-medicating or escaping.
Jesus wants to come in and restore us. I can sense that work going on in my own heart right now. I have many wounds from my own past. My relationships with family members and members of the opposite sex were unhealthy and co-dependent. The Lord is continually telling me that I am not bound by those experiences..I can live fully now and leave those memories in the past where they belong. Some days that seems like it will never happen and other days I enjoy the present and feel fully alive in this great life that God has given me.
Healing is not a straight line. We move forward and we slip back..but we are making progress. We are moving toward new beginnings..new opportunities..the abundant life. Our part is to continue to trust..pray..be willing..desire..believe..ask and imagine. His part is to restore..redeem and replace. He is at work in our hearts and minds..take time to reflect and receive from Him this week.
“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes in the morning…You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing!”