In May of 2019, I started to fast every Monday. At the time, I was fasting to bring seriousness and intention to something I was deeply praying for. But, as time wore on, it became a regular part of my weekly routine, like Leg Day or Pizza Night.
When I started, I fasted in response to a troubling personal situation but I was recently asked why do I continue to fast?
Bottom line is that I want to experience God. I want his presence in my life. I am not trying to manufacture or conjure up God through fasting but I do want to be closer to him. While fasting and the struggle that comes with not appeasing my desire for food, I find myself clinging to God. Sometimes, I actually imagine myself clinging to Jesus in a posture of desperate humility. I am shaking off all of my self importance and achievement and falling at the feet of Jesus. He feels closer to me in those moments and I sense his care and provision.
I have also found that fasting serves as a decent anti-anxiety practice. As I have detailed before, fasting slows me down and brings my life into a smaller focus. When I fast, I don’t seem to be beset with the magnitude of stressful situations or overwhelm. In fact, those things seem so much less important and I wonder sometimes why I am so stressed at other parts of my week. Nothing has really changed in my circumstances but my stress is reduced and I am given the gift of perspective that is such a help in fighting anxiety.
I don’t think it is just a matter of replacing one stressful situation with the stress of lack of food. I think it is God reminding me that my situation and my position in life is not the center of the universe and that He can handle all parts of my life and that I am in a safe place in his will and power.
If you have not tried fasting, I would give it a try. I detail here how to survive a fast and other things I have learned while fasting.