We often speak of Lent in terms of a desert. For 40 days, Jesus withdrew to the desert to fast and pray. We do the same, though figuratively speaking. For the 40 days of Lent, we devote ourselves to increased prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
For awhile now, I’ve realized that I need to cut down on the noise in my life. The sources of that noise are many: various social media platforms, music in the car and at home, and reading many news stories that either leave me disturbed or are simply pointless in the grand scheme of things. This is basically what my Lent is revolving around: reducing the “noise” in my life in order to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Though being deprived by fasting of various types resembles going into the desert, there is fruit. We are being pruned, old habits cut away so that there is room to bear new fruit. Our hunger pangs can point us to something–Someone— greater.As we follow Jesus into the desert, it’s a great way to grow in intimacy with Him. Letting go of some of our earthly delights invites in His heavenly love. The time that I spent on the noise now holds silence instead, a perfect opportunity for Jesus to speak to me or I to speak to Him. My heart is being freed up to better love Him and others.
How’s your Lent going? Is there anything you’d like me to keep in prayer? I’m so grateful to be on this journey with you!
Some of my very favorite songs are ones that I didn’t like the beginning of. I may have even skipped them for another song before I came back to listen fully and appreciate them. Then, when I came back and listened to them all the way through, I couldn’t stop listening. They are the songs I listen to on repeat now. I wonder, what if I had skipped them? I would have missed out on something beautiful.
What about the song of your life? Maybe it isn’t going the pace you like, and seems too slow. The silence at the beginning might be too much and you just want the tempo to pick up. Maybe you don’t see how the voices and all the parts are working together yet. The middle may not be what you expected. Perhaps you just want to skip to the end to see how it finishes.
My friends, we need to listen to the full song. Each part is working together to make the song a masterpiece. The beginning is only that-the beginning. There are many parts in between, and only taken as a whole can it be fully understood and appreciated. Keep waiting. Keep praying through each note and silence. Keep listening. Don’t skip ahead, because each part has something meaningful to offer and melds with the other parts.
He created you with a song that is only yours, and no one else’s. Your song is unrepeatable. Keep listening, my friend. The song isn’t over yet.
I will be entering into “sacred silence” during this Holy Week. Instead of stressing about what to write this week, I want to focus on my Savior. Look for some new posts next week, about a limitless life in Christ and about the temples we are walking around in (aka our bodies!). Maybe a book review about an amazing book will even find its way onto here!
Be assured of my prayers for you all. May you get to know His great and unendinglove for you and His willingness to lay down His very life so that you may live! May you know the truth of the Resurrection and that He is our Redeemer! I pray these truth sinks deep down into your heart and takes root! Be blessed.
The people of the Bible fasted at pivotal points. Fasting is a practice in Jewish tradition, and fasting was also often practiced in moments of desperation and crying out to God. In 2
Samuel, David repented of his sin and fasted in hopes that his child (conceived out of wedlock) might be healed and live. In the New Testament, Saul was bent on destroying those who preached Christ. After hearing Jesus on the road to Damascus, he fasted for 3 days (Acts 9). He is then healed of physical blindness (that occurred after hearing Christ–though it’s implied that he was also spiritually blind and gained spiritual sight). Saul goes on to become St. Paul–one of the most zealous people to ever live for Christ. And, of course, Jesus fasted. In Acts, the early Christians also fasted and prayed before praying over others and sending them out on mission. Now, Christians all over the world practice fasting.
In my own life, fasting seemed daunting. In the Catholic Church, there are two days that are prescribed for fasting. Even those two days of the year are very difficult for me physically. Recently, I read a book that helped me to see the history, benefits, hows, and whys of fasting. It gave stories of people’s positive and negative experiences with various types of fasting. The book was “Fasting: Spiritual Freedom Beyond Our Appetites” by Lynne Baab. My eyes were opened to the benefits of fasting and how it can bring one into greater intimacy with the Lord. Fasting leaves an open space for God. It disciplines our bodies and minds to grow in the Spirit. It detaches us from the things of the world in order to better be attuned to the Father. I was able to ponder other types of fasts: for example, fasting from social media, jewelry, or certain types of foods (instead of all food).
I am making an effort to fast from listening to music. Perhaps that seems a silly fast. For me, however, it is necessary. (And maybe you, too!) I really like listening to music, but it brings a lot of noise to my life. I want to hear the the still, small voice of God. I want to leave an opening for the Holy Spirit to speak to me. I don’t want to hear songs on repeat in my head. Of course, the Spirit can speak through music. I want to leave room to hear Him in the stillness, in sacred silence. I desire to receive His love. My commute is now a time for a conversation with my Heavenly Father. I feel that even this short time in the car is preparing me better for the challenges ahead in the day. I walk into work in a better state of mind and clothed in the armor of God (Eph. 6). When I blast music on the car ride, I don’t walk into work with the same peace. I am so thankful for this new knowledge of fasting, and the grace to implement it!
When are some times to fast?
When you are struggling with decisions or confused, not at peace
When you are struggling with habitual sins and habits you can’t seem to break
When loved ones are in trouble
When you are longing for intimacy with God
When your country or another region of the world is in turmoil
What are your experiences of fasting? What types of fasting do you practice?
Together journeying toward the Creator and becoming the creations we were meant to be.