Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40:28-31

_________________

This past Wednesday officially began the season of Lent ––– a season where we all focus on the wilderness journeys that we often face in our lives. This 40-day journey mirrors Jesus’ own journey in the wilderness and prepares us for the events of Holy Week and Easter.

Most years, we begin Ash Wednesday –– with its mantra of “from dust you have come, to dust you will return” –– with the preparation of how weary this life can become. As we focus on the difficult realities of what it means to live in this world, we pray, fast, and give through a season that generally comes just once a year.

As I said at our Ash Wednesday service: we don’t need that reminder this year. This has not been a once-a-year journey for us, it has been one we’ve been in for almost a year now.

While I believe that our journey of Lent is no less important this year than any other, I also believe that we’re going to need to lean-in even harder to the presence of God that is with us in this particular season. This has been a hard year, but it has not been a year where we’ve been left alone to fend for ourselves. No matter how hard this year has been, God has always been with us in our pain, loss, and grief.

As you journey into this season, I invite you to find strength in the words of the prophet Isaiah, to have hope that God will renew your strength to keep going, no matter what is ahead. While there is much reason to trust that the months ahead are trending in a more positive direction, there is no promise that we will not face difficulty in them.

The only assurance that we can hold on to is that the everlasting God is with us and continues to give us strength for what we face, no matter what that might be. God is, after all, a God who does not tire or grow weary, even when we can’t imagine taking another step.

This season of Lent might feel harder than those of the past. The emotion and brokenness might feel closer than you’re accustomed to. This is ok. Don’t push the emotions away. Trust that Christ stands with you in them. Use the difficulty to seek where he is in them.

No matter what we face in this journey ahead, know that this is not the end. Lent ends with the light of Easter and our current realities will end with the light of a new dawn too. Keep journeying, don’t give up, and know that you are loved in the midst of it all.

Have a great weekend,