denying self and loneliness

I’m still surprised by the number of times the word “lonely” appears in a list of words that people have searched online. It’s kind of strange that we’re more connected than ever, yet so many are still crying out in loneliness. There’s a song on the radio by Casting Crowns –

She is yearning
For shelter and affection
That she never found at home
She is searching
For a hero to ride in
To ride in and save the day
And in walks her prince charming
And he knows just what to say
Momentary lapse of reason
And she gives herself away

Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?
Or does anybody even know she’s going down today
Under the shadow of our steeple
With all the lost and lonely people
Searching for the hope that’s tucked away in you and me
Does anybody hear her? Can anybody see?

Do we really see each other? And how can we reach out and love a lost and dying world when so many inside the church are feeling lost and lonely too? I care about the lost, but I feel like one of my passions has always been the church – to see the church get healthy, rise up and boldly do the work of advancing the kingdom that she was meant to do. When “inside the church” looks like “outside the church” then why would people want to come in?

So what does all this have to do with fasting? Well, a lot actually. Because the thing is – we don’t have anything good to give others unless we learn to receive it first from God. Receive what? Things like security, hope, a feeling of safety, a knowing of the great love He has for us, of being convinced of His goodness.

In this hyper-connected world, fasting can help us disconnect with the outer world and drive us to connect with God. Food is one of our most basic needs. We cannot survive without it. And Jesus calls Himself the “bread of life” (John 6:35). He wants to be our source for everything – our food yes, but the deepest needs and desires of our heart as well. Fasting is a way to remind ourselves of that deep base need we have for the Lord. And the truth is – we are never alone. But we will “feel” alone unless we can learn to connect with God intimately – every day. Just like we need food every single day, so we need Him. There are many ways to do that, but fasting can be an amazing spiritual journey.

How do you get started? Start small. Just choose to skip one meal (in advance) and then during the time you’d normally eat, spend that time talking with God, and being quiet so that you can listen. Try it. You just might find that God has something He’s been waiting to share with you.



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