Lent: It's Not About Me

- Heather McGugan Just two or three days into Lent, I experienced the power and blessing of participating in the TFC Lent Challenge. During this time of preparation for Easter, I am sacrificing my time on Facebook and my consumption of sodas - both things function as part of my daily routine as I check Facebook regularly on my phone and tend to drink at least one soda for lunch.

It was a typical day at work. I had been working hard on a particular project and found my way to a good stopping point, looking for a moment to breathe and get a little clarity before going back to the daily grind. At that time, I picked up my phone, as I have often done in the past and I cleared my screen ready to go to my Facebook application (thankfully I had deleted it the night before Lent began to keep me honest).

In that moment, I realized what I was doing. I realized I was attempting to go towards the thing I had sacrificed for Lent - Facebook. As my mind and heart became consciously aware of my intentions and actions, I stopped. I stopped and acknowledged God for who He is and thanked Him. I thanked Him for His sacrifice for me (Romans 5:8) - a sacrifice that has cleansed me.

And then, He spoke to my heart with such clarity. "Pray for Abi."

Helping Children in Ethiopia

To be honest, I have never prayed for Abi while at home. Abi is one of the boys in The Forsaken Children’s partner’s, Onesimus, halfway home. He is one of the older boys that often helps care for the younger guys. He is smart, kind, a good student, and very lovable, but I am unsure if Abi is also my brother in Christ. I'm embarrassed to say that although I have prayed for him while in Ethiopia, when Abi is there in front of me or I have just left from spending time with him, I have never prayed for him while back in the States. And I'm not sure why, because I care for Abi and enjoy spending time with him.

The Lord told me that day, "Pray for Abi", and I did. I prayed for Abi's salvation. I prayed that he would feel and know the love of the Father in a way like never before. I prayed that his relationship with the Father would develop and that he would be an example for the younger boys. I prayed Abi knows the love of Jesus who died for us and that he knew I was praying for him.

Suddenly it no longer mattered that I didn’t check Facebook or didn’t get to see all the random posts by my "friends." Instead, I felt such thankfulness that the Lord shared with me and invited me to be a part of His work with Abi.

In that moment I was able to participate in the true meaning of Lent, I was able to use my time for God's glory and not my own!

Following my experience, I came upon this devotion about Lent that spoke to me: A Lenten Invitation to Draw Near to God, by Mark Roberts. I am so thankful that we serve a God who is active and alive. He wants to be a part of our daily lives and is, but sometimes we have to take the time to hear Him, to see Him and to acknowledge He is here.

" And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God." (Philippians 1:9-11)