Hey! Anj here. Thinking about Easter this morning ... last weekend I got a couple of days behind in my devotions in the book I'm reading (Journey to the Cross), but it was easy and VERY encouraging to read the days and answer the short thought-provoking questions this morning.
It got me to thinking...while not all Christians officially observe Lent, and many celebrate this incredible gift each weekend (yay!), this 40 day period (starting a couple of days ago on Ash Wednesday) before Easter is still a great time to reflect on Christ's sacrifice and resurrection. This newest (in)courage Guided Devotional Journey to the Cross was written for women of all stages in mind, to help them better experience the power and wonder of Easter with more intentionality ... and depth.
For men, well, I have been going through this devotional and unless I am surprised later on, it's good for men too!
But today, I just wanted to share something that is not in the book. Please enjoy the story behind the book from Mary Carver, (in)courage writer, author of Journey to the Cross:
"When I began studying ways to prepare my heart for Easter, something many know as the season of Lent, I read everything I could find about the time Jesus spent in the wilderness. While accounts can be found in three of the gospels, the brief description in Mark is what resonated most deeply with me. Thinking of Jesus, alone in the wilderness, being tempted by Satan, surrounded by wild animals was a breath of fresh air to my distracted, weary soul. I feel alone! I’m tempted all the time! And yes, at times it feels like I’m surrounded by wild animals!
When we struggle to quiet our lives and our hearts enough to focus on God, Jesus knows exactly how we feel. And what I know from passages in Matthew and Luke is that despite the desperate situation in which He found Himself, He resisted temptation. The angels served Him, He leaned on His knowledge of Scripture and faith in God, and He resisted. So what does that mean for me, as I think about one more failed attempt at a simple quiet time?
It means this: Our Lord and Savior isn’t just the One who can quench our thirst and ease our pain. He is worthy of our praise and adoration, but He also is intimately familiar with our challenges and our struggles. He knows the strength it requires to seek Him and abide with Him, and He knows that, without Him, we will perish in the wilderness.
Let’s remember this truth as we look ahead to the Lenten season. Let’s prepare our hearts, joining with one another on this journey to the cross. I wrote this book with women of all stages in mind so that we can better experience the power and wonder of Easter with more intentionality and depth."
And that's it. Lovely thoughts and depth of heart. So I thought I'd show you this wonderful story behind the story of how/why this tool was inspired. If you saw my video about this book, I'm still looking for some assistance in ideas for putting stations of the cross in my backyard. ;-)
There's still time to read through this and several folks are doing it with me. If you want to participate, here's the link to this awesome devotional book!: Journey to the Cross
(and it's still FREE SHIPPING! I just noticed this - yay! - don't know how long it will last though...)