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The Sacrifice and the Offering

Today is the first Friday of Lent. Tonight our church will do the Stations of the Cross. Afterwards, there is a fish fry. I enjoy doing the Stations. It is a solemn hour. I have been a bit blue today. If I shift and look at it from a “glass half full” perspective, I am reflective. Lent should be a time of discernment. For me, Lent is a period of inward focus. I can do some of that internal landscape work I have neglected. I have been trying to come to a decision about my Lenten sacrifice. What shall I set aside, give up, sacrifice or offer? I vacillate between wanting to sacrifice and wanting to offer something up.

To me, a sacrifice is something I must give up. Like God’s request of Abraham, a sacrifice is painful. The sacrificial act is painfully difficult.  sacrifice tears at your innards. With dread and with profound reservations, we approach sacrifice. Yet, shouldn’t I be willing to suffer pain for God, especially considering all that He suffered for me?

The sacred offering is all together different. An offering is made out of honor and respect. An offering is full of love and adoration. No one asks me to make an offering, I do it willingly, eagerly and with delight.

It is the mystery of Christ is it not…that He was BOTH sacrifice and offering. God gave us His only son as a sacrifice and an offering. I try to imagine God’s heart, his trepidation as he laid his only son as a sacrifice to us. I also think of His joy and love for us when he offered his son to us. My mind is too small to fathom the depth of his anguish and the immensity of his love.

So, I approach my Lenten season with a desire to make BOTH sacrifice and offering. I shall give up DOUBT for Lent. Specifically, I will offer him my SELF-DOUBT. While this may seem a purely self-serving offering, I remind myself that God repeatedly tells me to not fear, to trust in Him. I will gladly and lovingly offer my self-doubt to him. It is also a sacrifice, because the doubt itself feeds the attachment to it. The idea of shunning doubt conjures greater doubt. For all who are doubters, they understand.

I doubt my abilities. I doubt my convictions. I doubt my love. I doubt my achievements. I doubt my place in this life. I doubt my worth. I doubt my talents. I doubt my beauty.

I will sacrifice that companion I have made of doubt. She has been a constant in my life far too long. I shall joyfully offer it to the Lord and pray he will fill that space with contentment and assurance in the Lisa He made.

I stand in the palm of His hand.

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