Fasting Before Feasting

Dolores Nasrallah

READ : Matthew 9:14-15

The old saying goes, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.” There is nothing fonder than getting a letter from a distant lover. Memories grow sweeter. Longing for the presence of a loved one goes deeper.

This longing leads to fasting, putting aside other things to focus on the loved one. Followers of John the Baptist asked Jesus why his disciples did not fast. Jesus responded by using a metaphor of bridegroom attendants who only need to fast after the bridegroom is taken away. Jesus’ absence is cause for fasting, for pulling away from worldly attachments to intentionally seek his face.

A deeper experience of joy in God often comes through the discipline of fasting. When we choose to let go of dependencies such as television for entertainment, food for pleasure, speech for self-boasting, or worka-holism for achievement, we realize our trophies don’t amount to much in comparison to the satisfaction of God’s presence. There are seasons when we need to empty ourselves of these preoccupations to focus our hearts on our one true love.

In what areas might God be asking you to fast in order that you might feast on him?

PRAYER

Jesus, free me from all that hinders me from a deeper experience of your presence in my life.