I want to ask you a question and I want you to think about it before you answer. Maybe even write it down. However you choose to respond, I want you to absorb your answer. As I prepare my heart for this new season of Lent, God stops me in my tracks to ask me the same question. Ready?
Imagine your life as a story. Would you trade the leading role in the story of you for any supporting role in the story of God?
I like to prepare my heart before I enter Lent because I want this season to be bigger than just giving up candy. I want it to be another reason to get closer to Him- to be more like Him. If you are unsure of the reason for the Lenten season, it’s a time to reflect on the suffering on the cross that Jesus endured for us and the celebration of Easter when He rose from the dead. It’s the sacrifice; His life, His death, His resurrection and Him being alive today.
When we think about the question, I think it’s safe to say we all want to be a hero. We want our lives to mean something. We want to be leading the charge, receiving the accolades, getting the promotion. We like the idea of being the leading role, the star. We like the idea of being number one. We want to fight for something, to be made for something. But when we think this way, we make a huge mistake. We start to think that this life is all about us. We begin to think that we can act in any free way, treat others however we want and ultimately, we believe we have it all under control.
We fight for the victory instead of from the victory.
Lent is a reminder that Jesus is the hero that I will never be nor could be. The fight that life is constantly throwing at me, is already won. Why would I want to step into a ring when the defeat already happened.
One of the things that I LOVE about Jesus is His timing is ever so sweet and perfect. Before this season of Lent, He was asking me to step away from a few situations that were teeing me up to be the lead role in the story of Kristen. These situations were tempting because I was ready to fight and I knew I would win. Who wants to back down from a guarantee win!?
But here is the problem: I knew in my heart that if I took on these battles, it would push me further away from looking more like Jesus. I knew I had to take myself out of the leading role of the story of Kristen and turn to a supporting role in the story of Him.
Was it easy? No. But my job is to be obedient to Him and what He is calling me into. His job is everything else.
Isaiah 43 says:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
As I enter this season of Lent, I love having this scripture be the theme for the next 40 days. God doesn’t say that I will walk on waters. He says I will pass through them. He doesn’t say I will walk around the fire. He says I will walk through the fire. He is literally telling me I will get burned. Thanks a lot, God.
BUT He ALSO says that He will be there. And He is. He is there in triumphs and He is there in tragedy.
I know that God is good, even when I wait for prayers to be answered. He is good in my doubts, in my fear and in my questions. Jesus’ name is Emmanuel; meaning, God is with us. He is with us everywhere we go. He is enthroned in Heaven, after resurrecting from the dead, He is here on earth and He is even chasing us all the way down into hell.
So, my heart is ready to allow Him to lead the story of my life. My heart is ready to to pass through the waters and walk through the fire. After all, the day we call Good Friday is not a good day at all. In fact, it’s the worst day where the worst thing happened to the best person. But it’s good because Sunday comes and the heavens break and the Hero of the story takes the deepest of pains and turns it into the sweetest of victories.
I will choose to always take a supporting role in the story of Jesus and rejoice in turning down the leading role in the story of me. And I will gladly allow Him to take me on an adventure that leads me into the ocean. Even the deepest of waters, where my feet cannot touch, I will follow Him knowing He holds the seas in the palm of His hand.
The battle my friends, has been won. Remember, Jesus breathed his last breath out over 2,000 years ago in order for us to be able to breathe Him in today.
Jesus is the hero now. He was the hero then. And He is the hero to come.
With Grace and Love,