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29 February, 2012

A season for entering in!

Continuing to meditate during Lent leads us to discover Lent is not as much about leaving behind as it is entering into. It is not as much about letting go or giving up as it is grasping a hold of and receiving. Our thoughts/intents should not be what will we “give up during Lent ,” but rather what we will “enter into during Lent.”

Jesus’ disciples were NOT expecting him to be crucified. Jesus’ death was a great finality to them. The unexpected end to their assumptions and hopes plunged them into profound sorrow. They could not believe what transpired! Jesus was dead. It was difficult, at best, to comprehend the finality of Jesus’ death. Gone. Lost. Dead. They entered into deep grief, sorrowing from the core of their beings.

Then Resurrection burst into their experience and changed everything! What? Jesus is alive? What? Excitement built and realization dawned. The impossible was reality! Dead was Living! What joy!!! Out of their profound sorrow was birthed indescribable joy!

We see there really is no other way to joy, save through grief. And Christ is telling us that if we desire to experience joy in his work in Uganda, we must choose to experience genuine grief in preparation for joy. God is teaching us about the profound sorrow of Ugandans. Grief is the preparation for joy. We cannot rejoice in a Savior if we don’t grieve sin. Joy rises from grief. If we want Easter joy we must experience genuine grief.

Truthfully, we feel hesitancy and move to enter in tentatively at first, but we do desire to experience Easter joy. And so we choose to follow where God leads, even into profound grief, in preparation for joy. Our hearts are breaking in need of our Savior. We open ourselves to love God’s people in Uganda and elsewhere. We open ourselves to sorrow, that we might be prepared for joy.