It is so difficult to grasp the meaning of this. I am fasting from snacks for Lent, but it can easily feel like something meaningless, just a rule that I implemented. Teach me, God, because I know that there is more. I shared on the topic today, but I really wasn’t prepared for it. Lent took me by surprise this year – I’m not very good at keeping track of when it begins. I just realized yesterday that Lent began today, so I didn’t have much time to figure out what I was going to fast from. I also didn’t have much time to spend praying and thinking about how the meaning of fasting plays out in practical terms. In a way, it is easier with something like fasting a meal and spending the time you would normally spend eating praying instead. When there is an obvious replacement, it is easier to understand and keep track of. But snacks…I am trying to say a quick prayer every time that I find myself craving for a snack, but that seems so superficial.
Just now I was thinking about eating something so that I could take Advil for some pain, then my roommate was like, I don’t get it, shouldn’t you be praying? And then I realized… Gosh, it is so difficult to get my head around it which is sad. My understanding and concept of need has been so influenced by the world… But when God tells me that He is ALL I need, He means it. I don’t need physical food or water or medicine… I just need Him. In our day to day lives, we feed ourselves, hydrate our bodies and take medicine when we are sick in order to look after ourselves. Really, those things are there because that’s one way that God provides for our needs. But we consider them to be in the human realm because we are ostensibly responsible for all that. We are told that we need to honour God by taking care of our bodies because they are living temples of the Holy Spirit, and that is true, but the point of fasting is to remember that God is the one who enables us to take care of ourselves in that way. So yes, it is practical (and, some would say, responsible) for me to think that I should have another meal to fill my stomach so that I can take medicine, but in choosing to fast, I am saying that I believe God is enough for me. I don’t need these. I don’t need the medicine. I will pray and ask God to remove the pain, and even if He doesn’t, I will trust Him for the strength I need to endure it. That’s what it means to fast.
There’s a lot more that I have to say about this, but this is just a quick, short post for now.
Lord, please help me to hold onto this understanding, and to grow deeper in understanding as I fast over the next 39 days, submitting my body to You. Amen.