Once, after a 4 a.m. wake-up with my son, I asked him why he had risen so early. He lifted his arms up, looked at me and sighed, “The sun was taking so long to come up!”

I know what he means.

Perhaps you do too.

For many, the season of Lent can feel like a period of exasperated waiting—waiting for a sense of normalcy, a hopeful diagnosis, a positive pregnancy test, an answer, a new job or simply a moment of rest. Throughout Lent’s 40 days, God calls us to remember our mortality, seek repentance and turn toward the cross. During Lent, we wait eagerly for Christ’s resurrection.

“The sun was taking so long to come up!”

Some days, waiting feels impossible. We worry the sun may never come up and, like my son, we become impatient. At other times, waiting brings us to our knees in worry. We stay in bed, wondering how we’ll muster the courage to face what the day brings.

Even when we face uncertainty and temptation, we can trust God will provide for us.

Lent begins in the wilderness, where Jesus is famished (Luke 4:2). He’s been tempted over and over by the devil. With each temptation, Jesus responds with Scripture. God’s word provides Jesus assurance and hope during his hard waiting season.

God’s word can strengthen us while we wait as well.

On the first Sunday in Lent, our lectionary texts take us to the wilderness but also to a place of refuge. We hear: “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust” (Psalm 91:2). The reading from Deuteronomy reminds us of God’s generosity, inviting us to see the abundance of gifts before us and to return our gifts to God (26:1-11). Even when we face uncertainty and temptation, we can trust God will provide for us.

Wherever you are, however you feel this Lent, know that you’re not alone. As you wait, God is with you. Imagine God holding you or sitting with you in the wilderness. Let God’s word be your shelter—words of comfort, healing and hope—when you feel worried or impatient.

Today and in the days ahead, stay hopeful. God is our refuge and strength throughout Lent and into the resurrection to come. The sun—and God’s son—will rise again.

Kimberly Knowle-Zeller
Kimberly Knowle-Zeller is an ordained ELCA pastor, mother of two and spouse of an ELCA pastor. She lives with her family in Cole Camp, Mo. Her website is kimberlyknowlezeller.com.

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