I love what Ann Voskamp wrote about Lent: “The next 40 some days isn’t about what you’re giving up – it’s about Who you’re giving in to.” And this is precisely my focus for Lent this year. Rather than giving something up, I am going to intentionally make room for the Lord’s presence in my life.
So I suppose that will require giving up mindless habits to fill idle time, like checking social media while I wait in line at the grocery store or rushing around the house finding one more thing to do in spare minutes that I have before I leave the house.
But it’s about so much more than these actions, and instead the focus is on my mindset.
Lent is about the willingness to confront where my misplaced affections lie, which leads to this proclamation: “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope” (Psalm 130). As the footnotes of my ESV Bible state about Psalm 130, “This is an individual lament, expressing penitence and trust in God’s mercy… geared toward helping worshippers to see themselves as forgiven people, whose only right to enter God’s presence lies in his mercy.”
Yet the joyous thing is that as a forgiven people, we do have this right! We have the joy of willingly letting go of our worldly affections to gain the “steadfast love” of our Savior (Psalm 130). We have the joy of waiting for the assured “plentiful redemption” to come (Psalm 130).
The Lord placed the word “presence” on my heart for this Lent, and I’m not quite sure what shape it will take over the next 40 days. Yet I do know that in practicing His presence I will grow in awareness of His grace.