***A few hours after I wrote this blogpost on February 23, 2017, my husband suffered a primary cardiac arrest. He spent 11 days in the the ICU, 30 days in the hospital, and weeks in rehab. Gratefully, he is healing slowly. We stand in awe of God’s rich mercy. For we have witnessed his glory in the most extraordinary way. You can read more here.
I confess I’m not an expert. My experience with the Season of Lent has been limited. But this year, I’m sensing a wooing in my heart by the Lord to accept his gentle invitation to simply say yes. A friend of mine,named Rebekah, framed it in this way:
Lent is about laying something down and picking something up.
“And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34
Jesus doesn’t ask us to do anything he hasn’t already done. In fact, his is our model. Jesus perfectly denied himself. He took up OUR cross and followed the will of His Father. He did this, because He loves us.
This all started a few weeks ago I received an invitation from the lovely team at She Reads Truth. They asked me to be a guest writer for their Lent Study called “You Are Mine” on the book of Isaiah.
The title alone made my heart skip a beat. This is what they say about their study:
“The season of Lent is a call to repentance, and God’s call to repentance is a call to life and restoration. That’s why this year for Lent, we’ve chosen to read through the Book of Isaiah together. The vision of Isaiah is epic. It opens with an invitation for all heaven and earth to listen (Isaiah 1:20), and proceeds to call for the restoration of God’s people on a massive scale. The scope of this book covers over sixty years of prophecy, spans the reign of three kings, and foretells the coming Messiah.
Isaiah’s tremendous vision still holds the truth of the gospel for us today. We can trace how God’s prophecies about the coming Messiah are fulfilled in Christ, and we need the prophet’s call to repentance just as dearly as God’s people did in 700 BC.
“You Are Mine: A Study of Isaiah,” a 7-week Lent reading plan, begins February 27 and runs through Easter Sunday.”
I spent time in my assigned Isaiah passage and was deeply moved. I can’t wait to walk through this entire reading. You might still be able to grab a hard copy of their study, or you can simply join the online readings on their website for free. I like to have access to the readings on my smart phone, so I will subscribe to their plan through their app for just a couple of dollars. (This starts on Monday 2/27)
My contribution will be online or via the app only. (Look for it on Thursday, March 9).
This will be what I’m picking up. I’m creating some space during the week to focus on God’s Word in a fresh new way. I will need to lay down other things I usually read during that time. Truthfully, I can already feel the loss of it. But, I have a feeling my gain will be far greater.
“Calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to saving yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? What could you ever trade your soul for?” Mark 8:34-37 MSG
What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?
The real you that Jesus loves.
The real you that hears Him speak, “You are mine” when we have the heart to hear it.