Whatever it is that bothers you,
leave it at the foot of the Cross.
Day Eight of Lent: Thursday of the First Week of Lent – Esther 14
God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are You. Help me, who am alone and have no help but You -Esther 12:15-16.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
It is easy to sound like Esther when we cry out to God in need, isn’t it? But the question is, do we live like Esther in all other areas of our lives? In other words, do we live lives pleasing to God, keeping Him as our first and primary focus like Esther did?
Without even realizing it, most people end up putting the things of this world first and God last. We end up replacing God by turning ourselves and various things in our lives into miniature gods. In so doing, we attempt to control everything around us including God Himself and other persons and events, and thus limiting the power of our prayers. It is usually when we hit rock-bottom (again) that we end up crying out to God wondering why our prayers haven’t been heard like Esther’s were.
Acknowledging that we are fallen creatures with no power to control our lives is not part of the modern-day playbook for success. When we listen to contemporary motivational speeches, we are told over and over again that if we work hard enough (and accumulate enough stuff) we will be happy and finally be in control. Yes hard work does pay off in certain respects, but it’s only surface cleaning. The only way to a deep clean – maintaining true and lasting peace of mind – is through complete surrender of our will for the will of Almighty God. We must, as they say, let go and let God, trusting Him in all ways and for everything we need.
Day 8 Lenten Meditation
Think about what is making you feel anxious today. Is there an area in your life making you feel most out of control? What would happen if you stopped trying to control that situation and instead gave it to God? It may seem scary to relinquish control at first, but the only way to true and holistic freedom mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, is to do just that – fully surrender it to God. We are powerless on our own, but with Him we can do all things through Christ who strengthens, equips, and leads us.
As you move further through this Lenten proverbial desert, ask God to help you surrender your will for His. Tell Him today that you desire to lay all your worries at the foot of the Cross and offer everything up in your life to Him. When we pray like this, like Esther did, God will go to work making all the crooked paths in life straight. He longs to lead you down a path of righteousness which leads to the Promised Land; but you must do your part by allowing Him to be and remain the Guide.
Almighty Father, You are mighty and merciful, patient, and loving. You are all things – the only One who can give us the fullness of life we seek. We ask, Lord, for wisdom on this day. Remind us that we are not in control, that You are, and that we must fully trust in You. We humbly ask also for the discernment necessary to recognize Your will for our lives. As we relinquish our desire to control the things around us, we pray for the courage to obey You and to step out in faith. We want only Your will, Lord; give us the grace to act boldly on that faith. It is in Your good and holy Name we pay, Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
At some point today, go into a quiet room, get on your knees, and pray fervently and with insistence for your private intentions. When you are done, offer up your sacrifice and suffering for someone you know in need.
“He who knows how to forgive prepares for himself many graces from God. As often as I look upon the Cross, so often will I forgive with all my heart” –Sister Faustina.