Feasting for Fasting

Yosemite fogI was thirsty and barren. Devotions were dry and painful. I yearned for more love for God and man but couldn’t conjure it. As Lent approached, my desolate condition led me to ask God, “How can my passion be restored? Should I fast something?”

He led me to feast instead.

I felt like God wanted to meet with me every morning before daylight and each evening before bed. During that time I would feast on Christ through his word, worship, prayer, and solitude. It was to be a season of intimacy—a Song of Solomon season. Draw me after you and let us run together.

He was inviting me into his chambers.

It was a surprising request coming on the back of such a famine. I didn’t want more of what I had been experiencing. However, something in the invitation drew me.

What does feast on Christ mean?

He led me to focus my attention on him alone. I am to go to him, not to get instruction, receive new commands, or to ask for something from him, but to draw near to him with the intention of loving and knowing him more deeply. I am drawn to meditate in God’s word, listen to music, pray, and worship—I kneel, lie prostrate, raise my hands, and yield my heart once more to him.

My invitation to the feast began in Psalm 27. One thing I have asked of the Lord… that I will seek after, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire at His temple…when you said seek my face, I said, your face, O Lord, I will seek. I entered the words “Psalm 27” on my iPhone calendar for every day until Easter. My Lord wanted me to seek His face. Hope arose.

The Feast Begins

I rise while it is still dark; I open my back bedroom door to listen to the evening silence. I brew my tea, get my bible, journal and pen, and turn on the lamp. I grab a blanket and sit in the olive green chair near the open door and wait for the first bird to sing. The first note sung in the darkness brings hope and pleasure; it is a call to worship. Dawn is coming. God is singing over me, and the invitation to intimacy stirs me.

Hunger and expectation rise. Each verse or word is a bite. Sometimes one verse becomes a whole meal. Other days, I read longer before my heart is impacted. I am not in a panic to finish. I slowly savor each morsel of truth about God and all that He has done for me through Christ. I am in search of wonder and awe.

I ask myself questions. What is going on here? What are the characters feeling? How might this apply to me, to the Church, to the world? What am I thankful for? What is God like in these verses?

Morning by morning as I meditate through John, my heart warms.

Things begin to happen. I am led: holy inclinations lead to divine appointments. Answers. Provision. Repentance. More love for God and others. Energy. More desire to pray. My appetite begins to change. Less desire for distractions—more desire to be with Christ—more desire for His Kingdom—less desire for mine.

When I wake, my first thought is of Him. If I linger in bed, I calculate what I will miss if I don’t get up. I’ll miss him and the ministry of his love and grace. I’ll miss the opportunity to serve others through my prayers.

I need this season of recollection. I recall divine love for me, and others. His presence fuels a holy fire in my heart as I contemplate his infinite mercies.

My iPhone beeps.

It’s still early.

Do I pick it up and check it, or do I stay in silence with Christ? I am expecting to hear from someone. It might be important. The thought of the iPhone leads me to thoughts of other distractions. Temptation. I pick the phone up quickly; someone has sent a Facebook message. I set the phone down as if burned.

Not today.

I distract myself by trivial things, often wasting time and resources. I repent.

I breathe.

I close my eyes.

I return to the light of who he is—who I am in him—and who he is for the world.

I eat, worship, and am satisfied.

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One Response to Feasting for Fasting

  1. nancywcarroll says:

    oh so very very wonderful, Linda!

    >

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