We’re now one week into Lent. I consider myself successful so far. But I can’t get too excited, because Lent isn’t about success or failure. I’ve learned this week that Lent involves a lot of grace. In biblical Greek, the word for grace is ‘Charis” meaning; a gift or blessing; favour, gratitude and thanks.
God has a lot of grace for us, his human creation, but I also believe we have grace for God as well. I offer God grace by giving thanks for all He has done for me and others. I give him my grace because I continue to fail and falter at being all that He has created me to be, yet He still loves and cares for me. His grace is what allows me to offer Him grace.
St. Paul shared this experience with us, “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12: 8-10).
He tells us that His gift to us is His power. We can withstand so much more with God’s divine power. We are wanting, wishing for, and maybe even missing what we’ve given up for Lent. We know that our Lenten sacrifices are temporary, but our other struggles might not be. With God, it’s not a matter of time. Whether the struggle is short lived or life long, He is asking us to accept that his Gift to us is sufficient. Our weaknesses are met with God’s power.
During Lent we are given the luxury of choosing our desert experience. Jesus didn’t get to choose his desert experience; it was handed to him and God allowed Jesus to decide how he would handle the struggle. Jesus showed us with his own life how to handle the difficulties that are part of our life. He accepted the gift offered by God and was victorious. God didn’t offer one gift to Jesus and a different gift to us; God offers the same gift to everyone. The differences lay in whether or not we choose to accept it.
Questions and Reflections:
What are some ways that God’s gift (grace) is present in your life?
Do you believe that the same gift that God gave to Jesus, He has given to the rest of us? Why or why not?
In what ways are you making use of the grace that God has given you?