The journey through Lent is a difficult one. It involves coming face to face with things we would rather not see, and hearing truths we would rather not hear. It is like someone showing us a picture of ourselves that is exceedingly unflattering; and, unfortunately, there is no delete button to hit so we can wipe it all away.
I don’t know about you, but I am not usually good at hearing the hard truth about myself. In fact, I go to great lengths to avoid it, and to try to make sure that no one will be able to uncover it either. Sometimes I do this by going on offense; spending my time and energy making my case, trying to convince myself and my world that the truth about me is not so ugly after all. And sometimes I do this by going on defense; trying to avoid or escape or deny the truth by rationalizing, comparing, medicating, or running away into extreme activity or busyness. One of my “go to” strategies when I have hard, unpleasant truth about myself that I need to face is to race off into my world to manipulate affirmation out of anyone and everyone I meet. It is pathetic really.
But God loves us much too much to allow us to get away with that for long. At some point he comes into our lives—or world—and speaks with such clarity that the truth simply becomes unavoidable. But God’s intent in this process is always love, making us into the people he dreamt for us to be. Anything less that his creation intent for us will not do. So he comes and he speaks. And if we are wise and courageous, we listen and heed. Because the hard things that he might have to say always lead us to what we most deeply desire—freedom, joy, and peace. And the very taste of those things will be as sweet as honey in our mouths. Thanks be to God!