40 days and 40 nights did it rain children. Que the “School House Rock”. If you don’t know what that is, look it up. They snuck some lernin’ into our Saturday morning cartoons.
It rained on Noah for 40 days and nights. Moses and the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years and Jesus spent 40 days in the wilderness. Then I found that the number 40 appears in scripture 146 times.
After waters receded and the ark came to rest on solid ground, Noah waited 40 days before he opened the window and sent out a raven and a dove.
When Moses received God’s laws, he was on the mountain for 40 days – Exodus 28:14 and again in Exodus 34.
Goliath stood and chided the Israelites 40 days before David faced him.
Not only was Jesus tempted in the wilderness for 40 days, after His rising, He appeared to His disciples over a period of 40 days.
The number 40 came to represent a time of testing or trial.
The Lenten season is also based on 40 days.
Ash Wednesday is 46 days before Easter which is 40 days with 6 Sundays interspersed.
Lent has traditionally been a time to give something up in lieu of complete fasting. I once knew a guy that wanted to give up his virginity for Lent. A very clever pickup line, though ineffective. Instead of giving something up for Lent, I have heard of adding something, either starting a healthy habit, or serving others. I wonder how many truly treat Lent as it was intended instead of just an excuse to have Mardi Gras right before.
The Lenten season began as a time of reflection and repentance in preparation and remembrance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and His rising three days later, Hallelujah.
Instead of giving up chocolate (which is never a good thing) or simply eating fish on Fridays, why don’t we take the time to examine ourselves from the inside? What if instead, we gave up hatred, resentment and jealousy? What if we offered long overdue forgiveness and pray for those who always seen to be in our way? Wow, those are some noble “preacher words”. If only I could live them as easily as I wrote them.
What if during this Lenten season, I admit that there are some rough spots and I still have a lot of work to do inside and out? What if I spend a little more time trying to draw nearer to God and allowing Him to mold me? And what if that did not end after just 40 days?
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
There is work to do.
Lord, help me find and refine my rough edges.
“wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7
We have been and I pray that we continue to be
Blessed in Great Measure