We are in the midst of the Lenten season between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Coming from a Protestant tradition, that hasn’t meant much to me over the years. Even if it did, I don’t get drunk, I don’t smoke, I’ve been on a diet since March 2013, so I didn’t have anything to give up for Lent anyway. Or so I thought. Enter the bathroom wisdom. (One day I’m going to do a post on bathroom reading. Really.) Today, I was reading through a daily devotional in our bathroom and flipped to my birthday. June 17 in Daily Wisdom for Women is Proverbs 24:16.
The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked. ~ Proverbs 24:16 NLT
“The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again.” All apologies to Chumbawamba, but we get knocked down, we get back up again, you’re never gonna keep us down. THIS is the right perspective that gets lost in translation of some out of context scripture. We will fall. But God gives us the guts to get up. We will suffer, but He gives us the power to persevere. We will struggle, but God gives us the strength to smile and the hope to be happy. I recently read one passage from the seldom-quoted book of Habakkuk that speaks to this supernatural endurance.
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! ~ Habakkuk 3:17-19
To the world, this makes no sense. Happiness in the midst of suffering? Yes. That’s what God can do.
So that’s what I’m giving up. I’m giving up giving up for Lent.
BONUS: (It’s probably in your head now, anyway. Indulge.)