Looking Up for Lent

And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.“ Mark 1:13

On my first solo trip to Liberia in 2015 to begin our school construction, I vividly recall the feeling of walking from the village, being led down a narrow path through the bush and arriving at what would eventually become our school campus. Scanning the horizon of overgrown land spotted with tall palms and deep vegetation up to my neck, I couldn’t help but wonder what lie ahead in this new “wilderness”. The challenge was exhilarating and overwhelming — and at times quite lonely. As we begin the season of Lent, I’m reminded through scripture of how “(Jesus) was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan” and how “the angels were ministering to Him.“ I’m sure it felt even more exhilarating, overwhelming and lonely to Him than it ever felt to me in Liberia.

When was the last time it felt like you were in the “wilderness”?

Have angels ever ministered to you?

There have many and varied angels ministering to me over the last six years coming to Liberia. They include the man who repaired my truck for free when I was stranded in Gbarnga, the villagers who cared for me when I was ill, the stranger in line at the bank who became our poultry farm manager, the engineering coworkers who volunteered to design our school water supply, the woman who approached me after a church presentation and helped acquire significant grant money, the man who helped extend my travel visa after I discovered it had expired, the police officer who offered to guide me through the alleyways of a chaotic market to find the right shop owner, the security guards that protect me every night — and the list goes on.

We often consider Lent a period of sacrifice — the time when we “give something up”. Over the next 40 days I encourage you to walk confidently into the wilderness that is your life, not thinking in terms of “giving up” but of “looking up”. Be intentional about looking up from your keyboard, your phone, your Twitter feed, the news headlines and acknowledge the angels surrounding you.