Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.
Matthew 5:6 NASB
Matthew 5:6 NASB
Over lunch on Monday, some friends and I were talking about fasting. Have you ever fasted? Isn’t hard? Why do Christians fast? Good Questions. I have tried fasting at times and it is hard. I felt hungry and irritable, and it caused me to have to talk to God more than usual, except that I was talking to him about keeping me from feeling hungry, which then led to tirades about is this really necessary.
It is interesting that the topic of fasting came up while we were having a meal. And then later that day a book that I had forgot that I requested from the library came in. It is called Mudhouse Sabbath by Lauren Winner. I “heard” about the book in my devotional reading. One book leads to another. Anyways, I found out by thumbing through the pages of Mudhouse that Lauren and I had the same struggle with fasting. She wrote a whole chapter about it. I like the conclusions that she, and a mentor of hers came to. Here are some quotes from her chapter; she says “Fasting is not meant to drag us down, but to still us. It is not meant to distract us from the really real, but rather to silence us so that we can hear things as they most truly are.” Her mentor said this: “When you are fasting and you feel hungry, you are to remember that you are really hungry for God.” So now when she fasts, she prays this simple phrase: “I am hungriest for God, my truest hunger is for God.”
So fasting is a means to remind me of my hunger for God. Hunger will always be part of my human experience, and God in his wisdom links it with the spiritual dimension of us to whet our appetite for him. No wonder Jesus talked so much about bread, and even provided miraculous bread two times that is recorded in the gospels, and had to make the spiritual connection for his stomach bound disciples. (See Matthew 16:5-12)
Eating is a great metaphor for our relationship with God. When we eat we are satisfied, when we are consumed with God we are truly satisfied.