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Lenten Devotional: March 12, 2024

by KayLee Bennett McFall, Director of Youth Ministries

It’s a Mag Light Kind of Lent

Lent is my favorite season. Lent is where you can really dig deep into those dark places. It is a time to shine a flashlight on whatever it is that needs to be brought light and lean into God. My deep dark place this year is grief. And, if there ever was a season designed to help us move through grief after a loved one’s death, that season would be Lent. This Lent is very special for me or maybe I should say, “especially hard.”  My flashlight this year is a big high-powered mag light into the loss of many family members in a short time. Just like the stages of grief we all experience in loss, Lent takes us from darkness to light, loss to gain, fear to trust, sorrow to joy, and thank goodness, from death to life. Here are a few things about God that I am learning in a deeper way this Lent.

Moving from darkness to light. Lent reminds us that from the depths of grief, death does not have its final say. There is hope and the faith that there is more than this earthly life. Lent brings light into our darkness as we move through this season. Look toward the light and hold on in hope!

Moving from loss to gain. We should also remember that the measure of our loss is the measure of our love; the measure of our pain is also the measure of our gain. Our grief shows us the many ways our life has been blessed by the gifts and presence of our loved ones. Grief affirms not only what is lost but also what remains.

Moving from fear to trust. When you feel caught up in the grip of fear or anxiety because of your loved one’s death, remember that Jesus too had his night of great fear and anxiety, his night of anguish in the garden of Gethsemane. Remembering his response of surrender, entrusting himself completely to God’s care, can show you where to go with your own fear.

Moving from sorrow to joy. Faith reminds us that joy is available even in the middle of our grief and loss because in God’s hands, nothing and no one is ever lost. Separated for a time, yes, but not lost. When we walk through this season with an unrelenting trust in the goodness of God, we will reach our own Easter Sunday of healing and wholeness.

Leaning into God during the passing of Jim’s mom, my dad, my brother and with the recent passing of my mom, it hit me that Lent was coming. I was so excited and that gave me hope. Is there pain? Yes! Is it scary at times? Yes! Does it take work to lean into God? Yes! But, with the help of a mag light, my pain of loss will ease; I just need to be patient. It is that unrelenting trust in the goodness of God that I continue to practice, some days better than other days. But, time and time again that practice leads me to God being as close to me as if He were standing right next to me. Learning to trust and rely on Him leads me through many little Lents. Which leads to more opportunities to draw closer to Him and feeling more of His glory through little Easters.  

Lean in and shine some light.

I pray for you during this time of Lent. That you surrender your losses to care of Him. Sometimes it takes a little flashlight to find your way through little Lents to then make it to a little Easter. Other times it takes a mag light for the stone to be rolled away for resurrection to happen in your heart.


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