Everything & Nothing
Fasting—a discipline of Christian living, pondered in my heart, punctuated with a question mark.
I’ve approached fasting like a mysterious container of unknown contents on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator, shoved to the back, left for another day.
This season of Lent, through an invitation on a church bulletin insert, God urged me again, “Open the refrigerator door.”
Through my daily Bible readings, Ezra being my example, I removed the container from the fridge and placed it on the counter.
And today, through the additional notes on my Bible study app, I pried open the lid and took a closer look.
The contents were enlightening.
For me, fasting has nothing to do with food and everything to do with food.
I control food.
I control food by what I eat.
I control food by what I eat and when I eat.
I control food by what I eat, when I eat, and how much I eat.
The thought of fasting from food (a.k.a. fasting from control) produces panic.
I don’t trust.
I don’t trust God.
I don’t trust God to meet my every need.
I don’t trust God to meet my every need and satisfy my heart’s desire.
Wow … that’s hard to see in print.
When I get hungry, I eat and satisfy my desire.
When the environment and schedule are out of my control, I can ensure my needs are met by bringing along my own food.
My ways are temporary … my needs will return.
You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1(NIV)
God’s ways are eternal … my needs will be fully satisfied.
“Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
Our relationship with Jesus is unique and personal. Fasting, one aspect of our relationship with Him, is no different.
Fasting helped me realize how quickly and easily I grasp for control and turn to the temporary satisfaction of this world …
And how often I rob God of the opportunity to satisfy me, to be strong for me, to nourish me, and to care for me as His beloved.
During these weeks leading up to Easter, I do not pray to be utterly dependent on God, but to know I am utterly dependent on God.