Text: Isaiah 43:16-21, 2 Corinthians 5:1-21
I keep seeing everyone else’s adorable pictures on Instagram of their kids and their friends playing in the snow. And even though I really have no business hauling my pregnant self out to walk on ice, I took my kids sledding this morning. And it was the worst! How do you guys do it? We were crying and falling down and fighting—by the time we left, I was done with winter. (But seriously, how do you guys do it?)
I know why my kids fight and cry, and why I curse the seasons. We are sinners. On our own, we are diametrically opposed to the way of Christ and when given the chance to be selfish or selfless, we choose selfish every time.
Honestly, it would be nice to skip over the hard parts of life: these cold, wintry seasons of hurt, anger, or loss. I just want to hide under my blankets and shut out the ugly and difficult parts of life. I don’t want to fight with the people I’m supposed to love!
But I’m so afraid that God uses bitter, icy times to reconcile us to Him. I’m scared that I have to go through the winter of the soul so I can enjoy the springtime of the soul.
When I peek out from under the covers, I know the truth. I know I have to give up my own will, repent, and be reconciled to God, or I’ll never see springtime. I have to do more than hide and wait for winter to end; I have to allow God to change my heart.
During the season of Lent, we try to give things up to train our raw fingers to let go of old ways. But to reconcile with God and to breathe in the springtime, we have to do more than just let go. We have to replace our icy vices with the good, warm things of God.
I’m forever stuck in the winter of sin until I let go of myself and receive the good things of God. Christ is the best gift of God—He is worth more than anything we could ever give up.
We don’t make this happen. We just cry out for help, and our Savior thaws our bitter hearts. I don’t understand how it happens. But I believe that He is our only hope to free us from our sin.
Springtime is coming! Christ Himself is a real answer to the cold ache of our souls. It’s not an easy answer, but He is the answer that actually addresses the heart of my need. He is the relieving thaw of spring.
This lenten season, let’s do more than suspend our vices—let’s run to Christ. Let’s be brave, come out of hiding, and be reconciled to Him.
“Yet whatever else it may be, Lent should never be morose – an annual ordeal during which we begrudgingly forgo a handful of pleasures. Instead, we ought to approach Lent as an opportunity, not a requirement. After all, it is meant to be the church’s springtime, a time when, out of the darkness of sin’s winter, a repentant, empowered people emerges.”