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Week 4: Thursday

Lent Reflections

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Learning Lament and Gratitude

One of the things Lent accomplishes is that it makes us aware of our limitations. If you’ve been fasting from something during this season, you are probably keenly aware of your limits, struggles, and temptations—we all believe giving up something should be easy until we have to do it.

Knowing our limits means that we become aware of how we are creatures, but God is not. The more we see our finiteness, the more we see God’s transcendence. The more we see our weakness, the more we see God’s power. The more we realize we can’t control things, the more we learn to trust God is in control.

Dr. Kelly Kapic describes two spiritual disciplines assisting this awareness: lament and gratitude, working in tandem. In lament, we grieve that God is not working as fast or in the ways we would want. In gratitude, we see that God is always working in other ways and on his timing (we are reminded of Joseph saying, “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good). Through these two disciplines practiced simultaneously, we can mourn that things are not how they should be but also trust that God is in control and working in ways beyond our comprehension.

3 steps to get the most out of fasting this weekend:

1. Read a Psalm of lament: Psalm 6, 13, and 73

– Do you relate to any of the feelings in the Psalm?

– What feelings or thoughts are modeled in the Psalm?

– Allow yourself to feel or think the same things.

– Do you have anything similar to lament?

2. Write five things you are grateful for or saw God do that week.

– How do these things let you know God is working?

– How do these things show you that God loves you?

3. Allow the tension of lament and gratitude to exist and be unresolved if need be.

– Allow yourself to oscillate between mourning and trusting. Don’t force yourself into acceptance but allow the Holy Spirit to move within the tension and reality.

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