I am failing miserably. This is only the twelfth day of Lent and I haven’t kept up my end of “the deal” for more than three days in a row. Each day seems to turn into the next and I am left wondering – where is my discipline? Do I have any at all?

Sometimes I feel like it’s so easy to encourage others in their discipline, but for me, it just somehow seems insurmountable. Like those ever wavering Israelites, I just can’t seem to get it right. It’s so easy to look at them and ask – why can’t you guys just get it right? Don’t you know God knows and sees everything? Don’t you know there’s going to be consequences? And David, David is my favorite. Some of his choices make me want to scream – C’mon David, surely you don’t think that’s a good idea?! But then I imagine my life with everything about me and all the choices I’ve made written in a neatly bound book for all to read and all of the same questions can be related to me. Oh girl, what were you thinking?

Thankfully, we have a God that gives second chances. Actually, its called forgiveness and is offered by his perfect grace. Each time we ask for his forgiveness, he wipes our slate clean and although we may still have to deal with the consequences of our choices, we are forgiven. Completely.

A great example of this occurs in the Old Testament with Levi and his descendants. After Levi and his brother, Simeon, avenge the defilement of their sister, Dinah, Jacob scolds them during his blessing of his twelve sons and they are left out of the inheritance. But later in Exodus, God blesses the tribe of Levi by making them the priesthood – what a special honor. Aaron, Moses and even John the Baptist would all be descendants of this tribe.

I don’t think God would cut me out of his inheritance because I failed so early in the Lenten Season, but in no way does it give me an easy out. This Season is, after all, about repentance. Those that say they can behave any way they wish because they have a loving and forgiving God – well, they miss the big picture. It’s about a relationship with our God. And that’s what Lent is all about – yearning toward righteousness through repentance. His forgiveness starts at anytime – we need only ask.