APPETITE | April 3-8
One thing that I have fasted from a few times during Lent is from snacking, from that late night trip to the pantry for whatever burst of sugar I can find. A handful of chocolate chips, potatoes chips, some lingering halloween candy that has miraculously survived all the way to Easter (just in time for the influx of Easter candy). I remember one year telling a friend about this fast, and he looked at me with confusion about why I would ever do that for Lent, why this would be a “spiritual” fast.
I was prepared for this, because in my mind it felt lame to say that I’m fasting from snacking.
I noticed that snacking was a place that I had no self-control in. That I would feel a craving and I would satisfy it immediately, even though I knew it would be bad for me. And it wouldn’t stop with one handful. It would become two, then three, then a stomachache of regret. The author of Ecclesiastes writes “everyone’s toil is for their mouth, yet their appetite is never satisfied” (Eccl. 6:7). This was my experience. Hence the Lent fast. I needed to put in some hard work partnering with Spirit in His work of growing His fruit in my life. I needed self-control, and so a fast from something that was trying my self-control was in order. It was saying to the Spirit, “I can’t handle this right now so I’m giving this to you, will you help me?”
My friend looked at me, said something innocuous and we moved on to whatever we were doing.
Part of being human means that you recognize that you have limits, that you don’t have unlimited power, unlimited strength. So we recognize our limits, and we turn to the God of mercy and compassion, who helps us in our trouble knowing there’s no limit to his mercy.
What are my human limits when it comes to pursuing food?
How has the pursuit of food taken the place of God in my life?
What meaning have I been deriving from food?
As you say aloud these confessions, invite the Holy Spirit to reveal barriers to surrender.
I confess that I am human and that I have limits.
I confess the ways that I have been chasing after a vapour.
I confess that you are God and I am not.
As a way of living into your confessions, consider fasting from food for a 24 hour period.
Read Ecclesiastes 3:11-13.
Psalm 23 tells us that God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies, even death itself. He gives good gifts to his children.
Ask the Spirit to reveal what God wants to set your Table with.