Fasting: A Lesson About Humility
by Hlumelo Petros
By now, whether you’ve been a Christian for years or just recently joined the faith, you should know a thing or two about fasting and maybe even the benefits of it. We often hear and read scriptures from both the old and new testaments about prophets and Jesus fasting — but what do we learn from fasting besides overcoming temptation? I’d like to share a series of six principles I learnt while fasting.
Last year April, I decided to get serious about fasting. I decided I would totally surrender to the process and open my eyes to what God was trying to reveal in me. Here are a few things I learnt:
One morning, while very hungry, I sat outside in the sun and it felt as if the rays of the sun were feeding me through the pores of my skin. It was as if the Earth was feeding me what I needed through a natural and free source, the Sun.
In that moment, I started to realise two things; a) how privileged I was to be able to choose to go hungry and b) how God has always provided for what I needed.
Around the world, millions of people go to bed hungry due to natural disasters, socio-economic issues, government corruption, etc. Many of these people do not choose to go hungry — many rely on aid and charities for assistance. I am fortunate and privileged enough to be able to choose to go hungry. In fact, I am so privileged that I know by the end of the fast, my needs will be met as all I would have to do is go to the kitchen, open the pantry or fridge and make myself a meal to eat.
Realising my privilege has helped understand humility. I don’t have to wait for foreign aid or beg for my food and for that I am grateful. It made me realise that God has always provided me with what I need (i.e. shelter, water, rest and food) and I have no lack (Psalm 23).
In fact, the realisation has made me want to give more and offer more of myself to the world (through God) by serving my community and even those closest to me. Just like the sun, God is our source of energy and through photosynthesis, you can grow, bloom and become fruitful.
As a child of God, I encourage you to shine on those who are in need and realise the blessings you were born into and to pray a prayer of thanksgiving over every meal. Stay blessed.
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