Lent is a 40-day period on the church calendar leading up Easter Sunday. The number 40 is symbolic of God using periods of desolation to prepare his people for seasons of deliverance. It rained 40 days and nights while Noah was in the Ark. The Israelites struggled in the desert for 40 years before the promised land. And Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert before starting his public ministry. During Lent, Christians often fast and prayerfully reflect on the sufferings of Christ.