Second Sunday in Lent
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen. — I Peter 5:6-11
You know that feeling when you are absolutely certain about something, when you just have a feeling for how something is going to turn out? The few times it happens, we move forward in our confidence, often slipping hints to others or perhaps even proclaiming to all how right we will be. Then, out of nowhere—for we were certain of something other than what was about to transpire—the opposite happens.
We get caught up in our own sense of surety and confidence. Simultaneously we begin to actually believe that the outcome is determined by us, that we have that much sway! To feel that we are in control and somehow hold that much power only leads us down a road not only to darkness, but to darkness without any kind of guidance.
Darkness will come. There will always be suffering. Trials will present themselves and temptation will always be around the corner. Why? Because we have an enemy who “prowls aroudn like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” If we are reliant upon our own feelings, our own power, then we are helpless, as we are unable to see God for both who He is and what He has done.
Contrast that with humility, or the recognition that we are helpless apart from our mighty God. When we begin with that, we are able to confront any situation that comes. We are able to penetrate the darkness with guidance. We have a Protector, so we need not fear the enemy, we need not worry whether we are right or wrong. All through the storms we can rest assured as our Savior did, for it is He alone who can calm it, not us.
This season provides a reminder to humble ourselves before a holy and might God. We can embrace our frailty, our helplessness, because we know that our God cares for us and is greater than any of our worries. This is who He is. Jesus endured suffering and sacrifice on our behalf. This is what He has done. Lent gives us opportunity to confront our pride and recognize that our suffering is for His glory and so that He alone can “restore, confirm, and establish” us.