Joel 2: 12-13 – “That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish. NLT
The season of Lent is in full swing and the entire month of March is all about Lent. We are still going through our desert space and experiencing God on a new level each day. The desert is not meant to destroy us or cause us grief, even though at times it does. The desert is meant to refine us, as metal is refined in the fire. The prophet Joel understood this and was encouraging the people of God to come with fasting, weeping, and mourning; to tear our hearts instead of our clothing. In doing so we find God as merciful, compassionate, slow to anger, and loving.
This Lenten season I pray that you are able to understand what all this means. This season should not extend or make your depression worse. Lent should not increase your anxieties that you are not God enough for God, but bring you to a place where you are willing to express your failures to God, and find Him forgiving and loving. The desert space is not a place for brokenness to grow, but for healing to begin.
My hope for you in this Lenten season is that you have peace. God is with you and He is not mad at you. He is not attempting to punish you for all the wrongdoing in your life, but He does want what is best for you. He wants you to rely on Him to bring the peace and joy that only He can bring. He is wanting you to experience Him on a level that you have never been able to before. He is wanting you to bring the grief, the pain, the sorrow, the anxiety, the depression, the fear; and He is wanting you to know that you are so much more than those labels. You are a child of the loving God! A God who sent His one and only Son into the world to die for you. He was willing to give up the life of His Son so that you would have everlasting hope, life, and peace.
Make the next four weeks about finding your new label to God. See yourself as one of His children. He loves you, forgives you even though He knows everything about you. You will never be able to make God love you more or less than He does right now!
~ Pastor Mike