I STINK at fasting (if you have any pointers or verses for fasting, pretty please comment below). But what I realized today was that the season of life that I seem to be stuck in has a whole lot to do with fasting. Now I don’t mean I had to give up something crazy for the last few months of my life, it is actually the other side of fasting that I having been struggling with: seeing God as my all in all. That He is all sufficient. That He is all I need.

So this morning as I started the Lent SheReadsTruth study (the bomb.com), I was instantly reminded of how badly I just want to know God as my one and only, how badly I want to let go of fear and my grip on the fading things of this world and hold fast to Him. Lucky for me, God has me in this time of fasting and reaching for Him for who knows how long (He does), and what is even cooler is that I get to experience this during the season of Lent.

First things first: I didn’t go to an Ash Wednesday service today. Being raised Catholic, I have been to many of these services, but college and work pulled me out of that routine- a routine that I want to pick back up again.

It amazes me how little I understood/still do not understand about the season of Lent. I was raised Catholic, I went to fish fries every Friday and served the young and old their fish and chips, and gave up candy and Facebook for those 40 grueling days, but I never understood why.

And after going to 15 years of Ash Wednesdays and fasting during the 40 days of Lent, I never understood why the ashes started it all. Why did the priest wipe my forehead with ashes, creating the shape of a cross? And why ashes in the first place?

Well, because we came from dust and to dust we will return.

Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance. It is a day where we take a page from the Book of Job and repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:6). We remember that we are mortal. -SheReadsTruth

This reminder is stupid hard because we all want to live great, healthy lives forever, but there’s this thing- we are mortal. We came from the ground, so we will eventually go back to where we started.

But with Christ, that all changes. With Christ, we have hope that we won’t stay dead. With Christ, we have hope in the spiritual bodies that we will have in eternity. With Christ, Ash Wednesday is a day of repentance but also a day of complete and utter forgiveness-because we know that He hung on the cross for us, died for us, and was resurrected for us to give us a new birth in the living hope of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1).

It is appropriate to enter into a season of celebrating the finished work of Christ by assuming a posture of repentance, confessing our need for a Savior.

On Ash Wednesday we admit our limits and acknowledge the brevity of this life. Whether in a formal Ash Wednesday service or privately in our homes, let’s use the first day of the Lenten season to remember that from the dust we were made and to the dust we shall return. – SheReadsTruth

So let’s do that. Let’s remember who we are without Christ, repent, and find peace in the coming hope of our Savior. It’s kinda tough to start off acknowledging our failures, but how much more glorious the resurrection of Christ becomes as we then turn to look forward to celebrate His death and resurrection for the next 39 days of the Lenten season.

 | The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;

it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory;

it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;

it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. | 1 Corinthians 15:42-49

Man that’s some good hope.

P.s. In Lent, fasting is something that I have always been taught to do, whether that be from social media, certain foods, or adding into my daily routine something out of the ordinary that I want to become ordinary- really anything that points me back to Jesus and why we are leaning into His hope during this season.

So here are my 3 fasts/adds:

No soda. Just something I simply don’t want anymore, so I am looking to Jesus instead. (Can I get an amen in how hard this is to do?)

Morning routine in Scripture. I am not a morning person, but I want so so badly to be. Lucky for me, the SheReadsTruth Lent study is all 40 days of Lent baby, so there is no getting out of it. Plus I know how much intentional time with God in the morning changes my entire day, so I am praying that these 40 days of “adding/fasting” turn into 40+ years of a wonderful habit.

My third fast is still in the making. I truly truly don’t want it to be something that I just ‘give up for the heck of it’ but I want it to be something that is a change in my daily routine where I am spending more time with The Lord and focusing on how to live healthy for His glory and less time thinking about myself and my earthly desires.

Hope this encourages you in your walk through this season of Lent!

See you soon,

Stephanie Lynn

Image by Morgan Judge Photography.

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2 thoughts on “Lent | Why Ash Wednesday Is So Dang Important

  1. I just got the new book to go along with their Lent study! You are the one that introduced me to She Reads Truth!! So thankful for that! 🙂

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