Put Down Your Oars

Lent is approaching which means the inevitable question: what will you be giving up this year? But perhaps that’s only half the question…

There can be a tendency to focus on ourselves, so it all becomes about ‘me’, what ‘I’ am giving up. However, Lent is not merely about forgoing the sugar in your tea or locking the biscuit barrel. It’s all about hungering for more of God.

Hunger for God
Psalm 42 is the perfect illustration of what Lent is all about “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.” Through the hunger pangs and temptation, we need turn our focus to God and hunger more for him. So perhaps we should be asking -what can I give up that will help me hunger more for God?

We can all end up running at a million miles an hour without really checking our motivations or even in we are headed in the right direction. So Lent is a great prompt to help us get our priorities straight and set our compass back on God.

The reality is that we’ll probably veer of course again, but what we learn in those 40 days can help us through the rest of the year too.

Look for Jesus
You’ll be familiar with the verse in Matthew 14: 22-34 where the disciples are rowing with all their might to stay afloat amidst the unrelenting power of the storm. Through the driving rain and howling gale they see Jesus coming towards them.

If that wasn’t bizarre enough, Jesus then asks Peter to stop fighting the storm and step out on to the water. While he stays focused on Jesus, he is fine. When he takes his eyes off Jesus, he sinks.

This Lent, whether you are giving up alcohol, social media or even devoting more of your time to exercise – it is our prayer that you’ll keep your eyes firmly focused on Jesus. As you learn the discipline of seeking God through the pain and temptation, you’ll be better prepared to navigate whatever storms lie ahead.


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