Hey Lent Devotional for Women friends, don’t you love it when you’re Lent suddenly gets all “Lenty?” Lent, in and of itself doesn’t seem to be enough sometimes. Sometimes life and Lent seem to get amped up to full-blown attacks of hand grenade magnitude!
One minute we’re doing ok and the next, vicious attacks suddenly start flying overhead…and in our hearts! And it makes me want to cry, “Wait! I’m fasting! I’m praying! I’m reading this Lent Devotional for Women! Leave me alone!”
Some of these “grenades” look more spiritual than others and some just look like plain ‘ol messy life. And all you can do is hit the ground. Lucky for us in our Lent Devotional for Women, there are two specific examples of someone being knocked to the ground as we meditate on our devotions for Lent.
The first one to hit the ground that we’re going to look at is Judas when he was with the group of soldiers sent to arrest Jesus in the garden; the second person to hit the ground we’re going to look at is Saint Paul. Let’s take a look at these specific episodes in our Lent Devotional for Women.
“Paul was thrown to the ground but he arose saying to Jesus–‘Lord, what will Thou have me to do?’ Judas was struck to the ground but he arose only to renew his traitorous attack, to resume his quest for Jesus, whom he was determined to betray.” (Reflections on the Passion)
Let me tell you, when I hit the ground during a full out assault, I do not immediately respond with, “Lord, what will You have me to do?” Honestly, it’s not even my second, third or tenth response.
When I hit the ground, or get knocked to the ground, I’m usually down there just trying to catch my breath and wondering what in the blessed world just happened! I’ll probably then move on to moaning and groaning and gnashing my teeth in Biblical proportion! Or at least acting like my good Bible buddy Jonah.
Side note, if you haven’t sat down and read the Book of Jonah, let’s just say I can relate to him. I’m not the only one! When our Online Bible Study Community was reading, writing, praying, and studying the Book of Jonah, we could all relate in one way or another. And as one of my daughters said of Jonah’s temper tantrum, “Jonah’s saying to God, “Oh! Someone’s dying today!””
On the other hand, I do not respond as Judas, rising to begin or renew a traitorous attack either. I never have any intention of a traitorous attack, but how often do I let myself off the hook because “I’m not that bad or as bad as (fill in the blank).” OUCH!
Listen closely, the gray areas of life can be the most dangerous and where we will most likely lose our soul. Not many of us, if any at all, are going to go out and commit murder, openly blaspheme our Lord, purposefully steal from Walmart, or rob a bank. So we figure, if it’s not outright and heinous sin, if it’s not as bad as someone else’s sins we deem much more grievous, we reckon we’re ok.
And once we reckon we’re doing pretty good, we may not even ever give things a second thought. We surely won’t examine our conscience concerning it because, in our minds, there is nothing to examen.
But in those gray areas, we also don’t think to ask, “Lord, what do You want me to do here, with this person, this situation, these circumstances?”
This is going to be a hard one today. Let’s take the time to consider a painful or hurtful situation or relationship and then ask our Lord, “What do You want me to do?”
At the very, absolute least, I guarantee turning all the pain, hurt, and resentment over to Him will be a factor. I can also guarantee, and you know I’m right here, He’s going to ask us to pray. He’s going to ask us to forgive. He might even ask us to apologize.
Ok, ok, pray, forgive, apologize, got it. But there might be another prayer here. Have you ever heard of praying for a “Holy forgetfulness?”
A prayer of Holy Forgetfulness is a very humbling prayer; it’s a prayer that asks for a forgetfulness of the pain related to the offense. This prayer is humbling because we are asking God to move us aside, to allow this incident or these people to go on by us, do you know what I’m saying?
We are asking to be permanently removed from the painful situation and all emotions involved. As you can guess, this is a prayer the enemy HATES! If you detach and “forget” the pain involved in a situation, that pain, that person, that situation, no longer has any hold on you!
When something no longer has a hold, our emotions cannot be stirred up by the mention or thought of that person or incident. We won’t be tempted to gossip, slander, or calumniate that person. We won’t feel the need to go into the details and prove our victimhood.
Here’s another thing we don’t have, we won’t have all those mental conversations–you know you the ones! Mine usually happen in the shower or while driving and almost always start with, “Oh yeah! Well! All those conversations won’t be plaguing us any longer. We can get back to conversing with God instead.
If you’re feeling stuck, feeling like a prisoner to past hurts and painful memories, try praying for a holy forgetfulness. For real, those exact words, “Lord, I pray for a holy forgetfulness.” What’s the worse that could happen? It works.