Lent Day 9: Fast one meal, pray instead

“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”  — Jesus

I did something today.  I’m not supposed to tell you.  But I looked fabulous doing it.

I’m not a huge fan of fasting, not the least of which because I’m a fan of food, of feeling satiated.  I used to fast for dinner, but since being married and having a family, I realize that fasting can make things weird during family dinner time.  So I fasted from lunch.

During my lunch break, I began with an extended period of just sitting silently before God.  Sometimes I forget how long it takes for my mind, my eyebrows, back, and shoulders, and finally my heart to really rest in the grace of God.  I felt hunger pangs here and there, but focusing on Christ diverted my attention.

I then turned to 24-7 Prayer International’s podcast:  Lent Day 8: Sent to Save.  The narrator turned our attention to the famous John 3:16-17.  And I was challenged to think about God as first and foremost the One who loves us enough to send his Son.  I’m embarrassed to say that the thought really struck me.  These days, I realize, when I think of God, I think of his mission, I think of being a part of his kingdom movement.  And I love that; it energizes me.  But before God is a God who sends, before he is a God who has a plan, before he is a God who dreams — he is a God who loves.  And he loves me.

The thought of God’s tender and inexhaustible love toward me arrested me.  How differently would I live, would I view and treat others if I lived in the constant awareness of God’s tender and inexhaustible love towards me?  The pangs of hunger would poke at me every once in a while and, in the moment, I found myself quite satisfied to deny my hunger so that I could feast on God and his love.  In that hour, I became truly convinced that Man does not live by bread alone.  Christ is more precious than gold or silver — but at that moment, more importantly, he was more precious than food.  And if you know me at all, that’s pretty DAMN PRECIOUS.

Now the challenge is, will he remain precious to me when I have food again?

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