1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
3 My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?” –Psalm 42:1-3
Fasting is not about losing weight or about food or about how long you can choose to go without the things you love. Fasting is about drawing nearer to God. Fasting is about taking your spiritual life into a very practical, everyday part of your physical, earthly life.
When you feel the pangs of hunger, or you feel tempted to break the fast that you have decided on for yourself, ask yourself if you feel this hungry or desperate for time with God. Do you long to be with God and receive spiritual nourishment in the same way that you dream about that next meal or dessert or snack?
The psalmist here says that he is so needful of God’s presence in his life that his tears have been his food. When fasting, you begin to experience greater temptation and trial in regards to breaking your fast, focus on your need to cultivate a yearning passion for God, greater than the passions of your physical body.
The first lesson of fasting, then, is just how our daily desires have come to rule our lives when only God can meet and fill what we truly need.