We’re more or less into the last week of Lent now, give or take a few days, and I feel very intensely the ways in which the time has redirected my focus. I’ve laughed, I’ve wept, I’ve mourned, I’ve been hopeful, I’ve been empty, I’ve been full. More than all of that, Jesus has drawn near and his presence has shattered illusionary visions of both myself and the ministry to which he has called me. And I don’t feel exhausted by all of that…I feel alive, renewed and ‘vital’!
As I’ve stripped pieces of life, lifestyle, preferences and choices away, the Lord has become more central and less obscured. As I’ve laid down my ‘new arguments’, his eternal truth has illuminated all the more the riches of his grace. As I’ve sought him and him alone the self-occupying burdens of my heart have melted away. I’m resting in a deeper peace that has been only tentative in recent years.
And now, there are responses to be made. Things to be worked out. Challenges to be faced. Paths to realign with.
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” Phil 3: 7 – 12