It's a long, hard road that leads to becoming our true selves. There are so many things to distract us along the way, things that draw us towards self-absorption and destructive behavior.

The next few moments of reflection offer the opportunity to focus again, to see more clearly who God is and who we truly are meant to be.

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Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4:1–4

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When we think about temptation, we often think about the unwrapped chocolate bar, the fizzy drink, or the ice cream we just can’t get enough of. But the kind of temptation we are called to wrestle with during Lent is a temptation far more powerful. For the next 40 days, you will venture into the wilderness to confront, head on, the voices and vices that seek control and power over you: negative self-talk, habits you know aren’t healthy, destructive relationships, or a hollow faith you’re ready to give up on.

This will be a season of struggle, but it will also be a season of discovery and triumph, because, ultimately, Lent is a a journey towards freedom—freedom from the control that our fears and insecurities hold over us, and freedom for new life, new beginnings, and Easter-living.

Grier Booker Richards

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Listen to my struggles, Lord, and transform them into possibilities of freedom, that in my journey towards Easter I might experience new life. Amen.

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Go now with faith into your struggle.

Avoid distractions of the spectacular;
See beyond the illusions,
And recognize you have what you need
To move beyond guilt to freedom.

You have been claimed by grace
And are called to celebrate the life of joy.

Grier Booker Richards

Grier Booker Richards serves as executive director and chaplain for UKirk Ministries of Greensboro in Greensboro, North Carolina. Grier is proud to be a Tar Heel and enjoys running, cooking, watching ESPN, and exploring the great outdoors with her husband, Rich, and son, Olsen.

Reflections on the Way: O Rest in the Lord - All Through the Night

Ken Medema -

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