The forty days of Lent symbolically correspond to the forty days of Jesus' trials, tests and temptations in the wilderness. As disciples of Christ, we too will undergo "various trials" in this season and throughout our lives. But, as God was with Jesus, God will also be with us. While we may not find pleasure in our trials, we can praise God through our trials, for our trials can work together for our good, through the power and the love of God.
Lent can perhaps be best understood by looking at the two days that Lent falls between: Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. On Ash Wednesday we are anointed with the ashes of the previous year and we are reminded that we "are dust, and to dust we shall return": we confront our mortality, our humanity with all of its promises, pain, peace and perplexity. On Good Friday we witness the extent of God's love for humanity. Evil has tried its best, but God has vetoed evils power!
During Lent, we encounter our humanness, our failures and frustrations. But, more importantly, we turn our attention to God, who is willing and able to forgive us, fortify us and free us, even in our sinful, weak human condition.
During Lent, and all the days of our lives, we ought always to pray for prayer, for prayer is the key to heaven's storehouse of mercy and strength. Through our prayer we can encounter and embrace the living, resurrected Christ. Through prayer, we can come through Lent with more peace, more purpose and more power for the living of our days.
Rev. Clarence W. Davis is pastor of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A frequent contributor to BlackandChristian.com, Davis earned a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology degree from Harvard Divinity School. The opinions expressed are those of the author and are used by permission.