Lent is underway and regardless if you are giving something up or participating in any way, it can be a great reminder to pause and reflect. I suspect I’m not alone when I tell you that is is not always easy to stay in my Bible daily and attend church weekly. In fact, I was on Facebook the other day and a gal was telling me that after 3 weeks her family was finally feeling better and so they were skipping church so their kids wouldn’t pick up any additional germs. The winter struggle is so real. When you are in the very midst of this struggle I want to remind you that you are not a failure.
- You are not a failure if you didn’t make it to church this week or last week or for 6 weeks.
- You are not a failure if you haven’t cracked open your Bible this week, this month.
- You are not a failure if you can’t find the words to pray because you are so exhausted, in pain or feeling empty.
You are not a failure. Start where you are.
9 times out of 10 I don’t open my Bible and struggle to go to church after I haven’t been there in awhile because I think all eyes of judgement are looking right into my soul. It’s not true. Start where you are. I am struck with the very realization that this world is terribly in need of Jesus. You are in need of Jesus. I am in need of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 1:18 tells us that “…the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” This very cross tells us to come as we are, in the midst of our struggle. Bring it before Jesus and say, “Here I am. I am ready to begin.” Start as you are. Start at the cross.
As we approach the cross for Easter this year, I think it is a great time to pause for a moment. Put down the stories we are saying in our heads, put away the voice telling us we will never be good enough, that we have already failed or that it is too late. It’s not too late. Here are three things on my heart that I plan to do as I approach Easter.
- Talk to God while I’m driving. I am going to work on my prayer life by simply praying while I’m driving. When I drive the kids to school, when I drive the kids home or when I drive to an appointment I will say a prayer. No expectations, no perfect words, just inviting God into conversation.
- If I can’t show up to church (or simply if you need a stepping stone) I will commit to listening to the sermon online or finding an online church community that I can live stream weekly. The community of church in person can be so beautiful, but at times we need to take baby steps to get there, or we have a sick baby at home. Life happens.
- Open my Bible. Whether I read one verse or 10 verses or the entire thing in one sitting, I am going to simply open my Bible every day. I am currently reading through the “Journey to the Cross” devotional by Christianity Today to help me open my Bible. I’m not going to stress myself out if I miss a day. I am going to simply work to open my Bible every day. If I don’t get it done one day then I will start up the next day. No judgement. No failure. Just starting where I am, in the middle of my mess. Will my kids distract me sometimes? Probably. Will I maybe get through half a verse one day? Maybe. But, I’m going to open my Bible. That’s where I am going to start.
It’s all about building habits. Just start where you are. Where do you need to start today? Name one thing. And start there.
Interested in some Bible study resources? Try these!
- She Reads Truth
- He Reads Truth
- Proverbs 31 – They also have an app for devotions called “First Five”
Find out more about lent!