It’s the last day of March, and perhaps the darkest days are over. Entering into April always feels like we are turning a corner toward a better time. I won’t lie, March is a rough month, at least in the Midwestern US. It’s volatile month, it can warm up and feel like spring for a few days, then turn around and snow, killing everything in sight. Where I live the wind blows fiercely for days on end, rain or shine, and the wind is always bitter. Even if the air itself is warm, the wind chills to the bone making it feel colder than it was in January and February. It also rains, for weeks on end. It stays cloudy almost the whole month so that when you see the blue sky on one of the rare days when it’s not overcast you almost forgot what it looked like. March can be a miserable time.
But, it is also the harbinger of what is to come. March brings the promise of spring, the promise of new life and of new beginning. March brings with it a special kind of determination to get through the hard times so that we are ready to greet the sun when it finally arrives. March is a promise of a better day.
This year, Lent began on the first of March. It seems fitting since Lent is very much like March. Lent can be a bitter time, it can be overcast with the spiritual hardships that remind us how sinful we are. Lent can be a difficult time to travel through because it feels like it turns cold on us just when we think things are going well.
Also like March, Lent is a promise of a time to come. A time when the Son will shine brightly in our lives and we will receive the promised warmth. Lent can be a struggle, but honestly, it probably should be. When we struggle through the difficult times and are reminded how much we take for granted spiritually, then perhaps it makes Easter just a bit more meaningful. Perhaps it gives us some perspective into ourselves and into our faith, and forces us to face what we’ve been avoiding. March is something we can’t escape, but it makes us stronger too. Lent is very much the same.