Monday, March 14, 2011

A Lenten Struggle

Sometimes I feel I am hopelessly broken.  And I would be, if it were not for Christ.

In my heart, I committed to participate in Lent.  I had always thought it to be a "Catholic thing", although I realize there are other denominations who observe the season.  I know I am not observing it as some observe, although there seems to much variety in how it is carried out among Christian groups. 

For the last few months, I have been so convicted of the food I consume. As a middle class American, I realize I am fortunate enough to have options, and many of them, to choose from.  Does my diet glorify God? 

While I have been working on eating healthier, I have so struggled over whether I should eat what the Old Testament defines as "unclean meat". This is more difficult than I thought, as pork and shellfish are staples in our culture's diet.

I know it is not a matter of salvation, but it has been my heart's cry to be set apart and pure before the Lord- to please the One I love.  I recall the days when my relationship with my husband was beginning to blossom, and I desired to know his likes and dislikes.  I so wanted to please him in all things.  Should I not desire to please the Lord as well? Should I not seek to understand His likes and dislikes?  Should I not love the things He loves and hate the things He hates?

So, as Lent came, I purposed within myself that I would set aside those unclean meats. Such a small sacrifice, in the grand scheme of things.  Yet I found myself struggling...

...Standing in the grocery store, picking up a package of bratwurst and placing it in the cart, then returning it to the cooler as I remembered my commitment.
...Preparing a pepperoni pizza for my family, settling on a bowl of granola for myself, and absent-mindedly grabbing on a small slice to nibble on before I realized what I was doing.
...Slicing authentic cajun tasso my husband had defrosted for me to season the pot of mixed beans and slipping a piece into my mouth. It wasn't until I had already swallowed it that it hit me... tasso is pork.

I felt such disgust- how can I love my Lord so little?  How can I so easily forget my commitment to Him? How grateful I am that He does not forget His promises and His covenant!

I stumble to consider Him in all things, but He always considers me. Seeing my failures and my struggles in the shadow of His faithfulness brings sorrow mixed with joy.  I am sorrowful because I want to please my Father, but I am like a clumsy child.  I rejoice because He is full of mercy and grace, forgiving me where I fall short, and still upholding His Promise to me.  I rejoice because Christ did not falter or stumble. 

And, I am so thankful that my frailty causes me to love Him more.


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  2. One of the many times I lamented about what a failure of a parent I was feeling like when I didn't do what I wished I would have 10 minutes out of the haze and fog of the moment, a friend of mine assured me "the good Moms are the ones who care so much to beat themselves up afterward."
    She was right, and the pinpointing of each thing we don't do as well as we would have wanted to only causes us to grow in those areas.

    I believe the same can be said of our short comings and fallings where our walks with God are concerned.

    You are a GOOD daughter of the KIng, lamenting over your failures. It's about our hearts, not our deeds, and I hear a heart longing to please God. I'll bet that's what pleases Him the most. ;)