Jesus went with His disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” — Matthew 26:36
The day before Lent begins is known by several names. The official name is Shrove Tuesday, but some refer to it as Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. Another name, and my personal favorite, is Pancake Day. Admit it: pancakes make practically everything sound better, don’t they? Can you think of any scenario that could not be made just a little bit more enjoyable by a nice stack of pecan pancakes?
Shrove Tuesday was meant to serve as a reminder that the season of Lent was about to begin.
Historically, during Lent, Christians would abstain from things such as butter, cheese, and fat — all the good stuff! Fat Tuesday became a time for people to indulge in these things, and meals often featured pancakes. They would fill themselves with the rich, sweet treat before entering a season of self-denial and penance. After all, when you know what is coming, it’s nice to be able to plan ahead.
When Jesus was about to enter the final season of His earthly ministry, He prepared by retreating to Gethsemane for a time of prayer. Knowing He was about to give everything He had and completely empty Himself, He took time to step away and be with the Father. How God must have filled His Son with peace, comfort, and everything He would need to make it through the coming days.
We don’t always have the luxury of knowing when a difficult season lies ahead of us. We have all had days when we wake up to life as usual but go to bed that evening with everything changed, the rug pulled out from under us. In those moments all we have to go on is what we have already chosen to fill ourselves with. If we have gorged ourselves on the things of the world, our resources will be quickly depleted. But if we have been intentional about filling ourselves with the things of God, we will have a store of peace and strength that is more than enough.
Ask God to fill you with Himself each day.
The psalmist declares that the Lord will satisfy the thirsty and will fill the hungry with good things (Psalm 107:9). Who doesn’t want good things? And if those good things happen to include pancakes with pure maple syrup, well, that’s quite all right with me.
Excerpted with permission from Devotions for Easter by Stacy Edwards, copyright Zondervan.
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Today, as we prepare for Lent to begin, let’s ask Jesus to fill us with Himself every day through Easter and beyond. And, maybe have pancake for dinner, too! Come share your thoughts on planning ahead with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily