I don’t know about you but I could use a fresh infusion of joy right now. Life has a way of grinding us down low to ground and leaching joy right out of our hearts. So how do we go about receiving a fresh awakening to joy in a season where we feel weak, weary or discouraged?
My faith points the Way to discovering all Hope and Joy in Jesus, because the best way to climb out of a pit of pain and despair is to recognise Christ’s constant presence with us, (yes, even, and especially, as we sit in dust and ashes, feeling low or lost) and His hand always reaching down to save us.
God never leaves us to our own devices. In fact, through Christ, He has paved the way to draw us joyfully back to His Father-heart, a way which this season of Lent makes clear and evident.
And we soon discover how the path to the cross is strewn with challenge and pain before the great release from the tomb and celebration of the resurrection Hope Christ gives us. In recognition of this, I’m praying for God to give you and me a fresh awakening to joy during our own times of sorrow and sadness, shame and pain.
My friend, I can’t pretend to know what you are going through, what keeps you awake at night or makes your heart quail, but I can offer a virtual hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on, a friend to confide in if you need one, and my prayers for you during this season of Lent.
May we learn to come alive again on the inside as we place our faith and trust in God. May we have a fresh awakening to His loving presence and begin to find joy creeping back into our hearts again. Each week during Lent I intend to offer a poetic response and a few words of hope and encouragement. I hope you will join me. Here’s the first offering about Ash Wednesday.
A fresh awakening
We kneel with last Palm Sunday’s
burnt palms arising as ashes, smudged
on foreheads; and we receive a fresh
awakening to Life Himself in our own
dying to self
These days of denying and fasting and focusing
on death will become precursor to rising
in newness of life—like grains of fallen wheat
our souls become broken, crushed, before
being made whole
And hearts honed in humility will soon
see an uplifting as we draw closer
to accepting our own mini-Calvary
We’ll witness our dross nailed firm
to Christ’s cross
This season unveils the very reason
for his Incarnation—makes manifest
the Man of Sorrows made flesh and
tears at our own hearts of stone, now
weeping like his