The following quote is not specifically-related to Lent in any way, but struck me powerfully last week when it was shared at a conference I attended. The quotation is from Larry Crabb’s book Shattered Dreams, and it provides a powerful image of how the Lord can use sorrows and trials in our lives for His purposes.
“Perhaps we can better hear what our Lord means when He tells us to live now with untroubled hearts….
‘I know things are not now as you want them. I know many of your dreams are not coming true. I want you to understand that things are not as I will one day make them. I like neither the distance between us nor the pain you suffer. Until I come to bring you to My Father’s house, I am devoting myself to only one thing: I am preparing a place for you. And My Spirit, on My behalf, is devoting Himself to only one thing—preparing you to enjoy Me and all that I will provide.
I have called you not to the secular journey where you must make everything in your life now as pleasant as possible. I have called you to the spiritual journey, to a process of enlarging your heart to desire Me above everything else.
Do not be troubled by all the dreams that will shatter while you remain on earth. You will feel deep pain. But every sorrow you experience will be used by My Spirit to deepen your desire for Me. He will speak to you about Me. Listen for the voice. You will hear Him most clearly when suffering humbles you enough to want to hear Him, to know you cannot go on without hearing Him.
This time of distance, when you will feel such disappointment both with your life and with yourself, will awaken your heart to receive Me with great joy when I finally come. I will not delay. I will come at exactly the appointed time. My Father will give the signal. Listen for the shout.’
And our response is, Come, Lord Jesus; come soon! Until then, we wait with untroubled hearts. We scream, we cry, we fail, but we wait, abandoned to our Kinsman-Redeemer, confident that He has paid a price for us that guarantees our eventual intimacy.”