For forty days the rain fell on the earth as Noah and his family watched aboard the ark. Slowly, the sin-cursed world was covered with water until nothing else was visible.
I imagine the waiting was perhaps most difficult for Noah and all on board. When would these rains and flooding end? When would God act to restore the earth? How many days would this animal barge float on the waves before land could be seen again? Are we there yet?
Waiting is perhaps one of the most difficult things in our lives. Waiting for results from a medical test. Waiting for a friend to come for the weekend. Waiting for a job during unemployment.
It is a journey that mirrors the forty days when rain fell on the earth to purge it from sin and injustice, while Noah and his family were saved in the ark (Genesis 7:12).
It is a journey that recalls us to the forty years when the people of Israel wandered in the desert because of their disobedience and distrust of God (Deuteronomy 29:5).
It is a journey that returns us to the forty days when Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tested and tried by the evil one in preparation for His ministry (Mark 1:13).
In this ||40days|| journey, we are preparing ourselves for the joys of Easter by having a deeper experience of the Cross. Like Noah, it is a time of rescue from sin. Like Israel, it is a time of purification from wrongs. Like Jesus, it is a time to come back to the word of God and resist the evil one.
Traditionally, this journey is called Lent, and begins today on Ash Wednesday. Traditional Lenten disciplines are fasting, prayer, and giving. Thus, we can see the movement from abstaining from something (fasting), turning to God (prayer), and putting another discipline in its place (giving). That being said, there are all sorts of ways that we can enter into this journey to the Cross of Christ.
Will you take the ||40days|| journey?