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GAINING IN THE WILDERNESS: A LENTEN REFLECTION

March 1, 2017

I appreciate Candice's post today. It got me thinking:

We do a great job at giving up things for Lent... only to pick it back up 40 days later. Jesus didn't just give up food and having a social life in that time of solitude in the wilderness just to be doing it for the hell of it... He was required to as preparation for his assignment as the spirit led him into the wilderness.

And we need to remember that Jesus wasn't just solely participating in the act of "giving up" in the wilderness. He also gained something in that wilderness.

In that wilderness, he gained deeper discernment.

In that wilderness, he was tempted and tried. In that wilderness, he demonstrated his commitment to fasting, prayer, and study.

He gained and overcame.

As black people, we already in the wilderness. Daily. We have been praying. We have been studying. We have been "giving up." We aren't new to this.

Collectively, for us, I'm tired of it.

Individually, I'm tired of it.

As a black women from the hood, who has struggled with deep depression, high anxiety, my sexuality, overcoming rape, and still having to carry the "call" to ministry, I'm so tired of "the giving things up in wilderness" as my daily life reminds me that I'm already in a wilderness and I do not have much more to give for the sake of giving it. I need to save some for me.

Perhaps, just like the cross, Jesus sustained and survived the wilderness so that we wouldn't have to endure it in the same way...

Perhaps, the wilderness presents an opportunity to thrive in a new way by gaining something that we couldn't outside of the wilderness...

But those are just my thoughts.

So, I'll ask you this: What are you trying to gain this year? And where is the spirit leading you? Think about those things.

Thanks, Candice.