You would miss out on fasting if you thought that the focus of this discipline is about denying. I propose to you – it’s not.
When we think of someone in extended fast, we naturally think it is about going without food or pleasure, about denying yourself, sacrificing something you like. If you focused your eyes and purpose on this, then you would not have enjoyed the time of fasting we’re about to finish.
So think back – what did you enjoy the most? What did you get out from this time of praying and fasting? Was it praying more? Hearing from God better? Meditating More? Getting your prayers answered? All these, and some more.
This season of fasting was learning the power of waiting patiently on the Lord.
What Waiting Really Means
The Hebrew word for patiently waiting is ‘chuwl’ and it is pictured not as someone who is sitting cross-legged, arms resting on their heads, while they passively wait for something to happen. Passive, inactive waiting is not what the Bible means when it says –
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently on Him” Psalm 37:7
Rather, waiting patiently [chuwl] is picture as (1) someone dancing, twirling graciously and landing on their feet, focused on the movements and where they will land next, and connecting each movement to the next.
It’s like watching a dancer who is more aware and focused on her movement and grace than the people watching her. Even without music, a true dancer moves in a rhythm that you can follow. You have your own rhythm. Jesus has a heavenly rhythm as well. When you fasted, having denied yourself the things that are about you, instead of having your own rhythm, you learned to dance in rhythm with Jesus. You began to be more aware of God as He moved through your day. Your prayer life and devotion improved because you were more in-tuned to the Father of Glory, and you watched Him more closely to see what He was saying and doing. You took note and you followed.
Waiting patiently [chuwl] is also (2) like a pregnant woman focused on the impending birth, so that nothing else detracts or matters at that moment.
The whole earth may be in chaos, but nothing else can stop that mom from giving birth. Everything else fades away and dims in comparison as she anticipates the joy set before her. As you fasted, and learned to wait patiently, you pressed in on what really matters: God and His relationship with you. Hunger and discomfort don’t matter anymore, as you found the beauty of dwelling on God, setting your eyes on Him face to face, leaning forward and turning your head so you can listen well. And He began to speak with you. Waiting patiently is the joy of falling in love with God again.
As we end the 40-days fasting and prayer, may your love for the Lord grow intensely and everything else dims in comparison to the beauty of knowing Him more intimately than ever before. The Father loves you so much, and has shown you so much in this time of fast. He has revealed great and powerful things to you that were hidden before this, because you have set your heart and your whole being to waiting on Him patiently, focused on Him and loving Him. Expect that you will become more aware of His Presence, His Voice, His next-moves because of this time of waiting, fasting, praying. His Glory is upon you. You are His beloved.