Various items lay on the bed next to an overnight bag. Among the items are a hair brush, a nightgown with the tag still attached, and a tiny outfit covered with puppies. Though this expectant mom packs for her second child, she needs to prepare for him as if he were her firstborn. Remembering what to pack for her, her labor coach and her baby, plus remembering breathing techniques and medical terms leaves her head spinning.
The last four weeks, the mom attended classes which covered the stages of labor and methods of coping with their difficulties. The waiting and discomforts of the last months gave time to prepare and time for the baby to grow. The slow passage of time was necessary but a trial in itself.
Like a pregnant mom, I need to prepare for big events, even if I have experienced them before. I can’t rely on my faulty memories too much, or else the time is upon me and I’m not ready, or I may be so occupied with hurried prep that I miss the fullness of joy. For these reasons, I prepare for Christmas during Advent, and likewise, prepare for Easter in Lent.
The repetition of Easter every year, plus weekly reminders of the Gospel, tend to dull my soul to the magnitude of God’s sacrifice and His astounding triumph at Easter. The holiday arrives, and I’m thrilled for a day or two, then it passes, and I’m shamed for the thickness of my heart. Is this your experience too?
Consider preparing for Easter this year as a mother would prepare for her newborn or as we prepare to focus on the meaning of Christmas. Imagine reigniting your first love for Jesus, and experiencing again His overwhelming love for you by preparing for the significance of Easter.
In times past, observing Lent lit this love in me, but not always. Pray and ponder. Is this year the right time for you to commit to Lent? It may be, or it may not be. Only you and your LORD knows. Lent begins this year on Wednesday, February 22, so there is time to seek Him and decide.
Pregnancy lasts for forty weeks, but getting ready for Easter lasts only forty days, like Jesus’ forty days in the desert. The journey may be God’s means for drawing you near to Him and for experiencing deeper joy, just as a woman’s pregnancy is worth enduring for the inexpressible gladness of loving and holding her infant.