“I have seen the end and it ain’t pretty.” …words I said to my adult daughters as I watched anxiety grip my mom with greater intensity in her latter days. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Sometimes what I see in others becomes the mirror that reveals my own soul and a needed awakening to pray for mercy and help for my tree and the apples that fall from there.
God is remaking me this season. Slowly–but surely–He’s stripping the false sense that I somehow have the power to control the safety and well-being of life around me …that control I’ve held with a tight grip for so long which, ironically, has ended up gripping me instead as it masquerades as anxiety and worry.
He’s giving me a strong word …”Trust Me.” Do I? What do I see when I look in the mirror of my soul and dare to see the whole reflection? Do I see trust or do I see a very anxious, worried, trying-to-be-perfect little girl.
Phrases resonate from the first few chapters of the book …“Messy”, “Repent”, “A Look Inside”, “Mirrors”, “Living Lent”. I see myself–the real me– in these places and I am undone–yet thankful…thankful that God is remaking me. You see, we can’t be remade until we see the flaws for what they really are …the cracks created from our own attempts to control and letting the thinking and cares of this world seep in — rotting our very being …losing the look and the beauty we were initially created and designed by God to display.
How did I get so far off? When did this happen? The journey through Lent gives us time to take that look in the mirror. What do we really see? What needs adjusting? What needs “taken off”? What needs to be “put on”?
We are not alone in this! Learning from each other along the journey, a good friend of mine, Michele, shared these thoughts …
“This morning I read excerpt 3 In Mirrors. Wow! Seeing my sin as the pain of Jesus as the author interpreted it to his wife’s face was humbling. Bearing that cross, taking that sin, never flinching… Do I even flinch when I sin? The sin of my mouth: gluttony, talk, words??? Such distraught so deep in me this brings as I really realize the outcome of my sin.
I’m looking forward to the reflection, refinement, restoration and humbleness of this Lenten season.
During lent we should be reflecting on the following (based on day 3 of the reading):
– over use
– over consumption
– over thinking
– over indulgence
– over stimulated
– over pleasing (the need to please everyone else BUT God to feel good )
– over complimenting”
Barbara Cawthorne Crafton, in Chapter 4 of our book– Bread and Wine, speaks these convicting words to the “over-indulgent”… “I am driven by my creatures–my schedule, my work, my possessions, my hungers. I do not drive them; they drive me.” And later … “How did we come to know that we were dying a slow and unacknowledged death? And that the only way back to life was to set all our packages down and begin again, carrying with us only what we really needed?”
As Michele says…
“We are a world of “overs” and should be a world of “re’s”
All the “re” words summarize what we should be doing with our lives and our relationship with Jesus as we reconnect with Him. Lent should be a time where we reassess exactly what our life is, why we are where we are and remembering who HE is and what HE did for us.
As I walk with Jesus each day and hear the birds now or see the flowers, I realize I don’t make those birds wake up and sing every day. So how important am I? I don’t make the flowers pop up every year? How important am I? If I can’t do those 2 simple things, who/what exactly am I paying attention to when I should be praising my Jesus for LIFE itself?”
from Michele Gustine
And if you need a little jump start for “reflection” take a walk through Colossians 3 with words like these to prompt …
“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.” “Now is the time to get rid of…” “Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like Him.” (from Colossians 3 NLT)
Let this season be two-fold …getting rid of, yes! …but also putting on things like “tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (from Colossians 3 NLT)
“Lent is a journey that could be called an upward descent, but I prefer to call it a downward ascent. It ends before the cross, where we stand in the white light of a new beginning.”
(Chapter 5-Bread and Wine)
May this path lead us to a new beginning…remembering the words of Jesus to us — “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)
So what spoke to you this week during your time of reflection with God? It would be a privilege to hear from you. Your perspective might just be a window we need to see the whole picture. Feel free to share in the comments below.
It’s a huge privilege to have Marie Griffith join in this Lenten journey on her blog, Full-Time . Be sure to visit her as we gather together online for more reflections and encouragement on our way to the Father’s heart.
If you’re reading along in Bread and Wine~Readings for Lent and Easter, this post was in response to insights from Chapters 1-5.
*Next week we’ll share some thoughts based on Chapters 6-12. You don’t have to read the book to join in. Just bring yourself.
Enjoy the journey.