The sky is cloudy and grey today; it's been that way the last week or so as off and on, rain has finally hit the dry bones of this land in desperate need of water. It's Wednesday, Ash Wednesday. A grey sky, like the grey of ashes, feels fitting on this day set aside to remind us of our own inevitable death and the fact we are imperfect, sinful people.
Today is a reminder to me that this life is incredibly short even though it can feel so long at times.
It's a reminder that I will take nothing, absolutely nothing, with me at the end of this life except my relationship with the living God. Because "for dust you are and to dust you will return. (Genesis 3:19)"
And it's a reminder that I will only reach heaven because of the One who loved me so much He journeyed to the cross and conquered death for me. That in my imperfection and weaknesses, I could never be good enough to save myself.
It may feel like a bleak or even defeated outlook, but I don't see it that way at all.
I see the cross even on this day of ashes, and in that I see incredible hope. I recognize my desperate need for a loving God and the fact that it's okay I cannot do it on my own because I have a Father who's strength is made perfect in my weaknesses. Most importantly, I don't see death as the end, but as only the beginning.
So today marks the beginning of a 40 day journey towards the cross. A time set aside to reflect on my relationship with Jesus and to remember that because of Him, there is a hope that will never disappoint. I am not giving up anything this year, instead I'm taking this time to dig deeper into the word and my relationship with my heavenly father and His son who gave up everything to save me. I'm committing to reading through the New Testament in the next 40 days, maybe you'll think about joining me.