It is a scene that has become all too familiar to most of us. Seated around a table in a warm friendly restaurant a mom and dad and their two children eating their dinner. Dad scrolls through the latest sports news on twitter while mom answers the text from her friend, and the kids - the kids sit quietly eating their dinner watching a video on their iPad.
Surely, in spite of the obvious evidence to the contrary, this couple loves their children more than anything in the world and would do anything for them - except, perhaps, the obvious. A relationship needs time and attention to grow and flourish. We send a message, whether we intend to or not, about what really matters by the things we focus on.
Pastor Doug spoke about fasting this past Sunday in preparation for our church’s three day fast. We learned much about fasting - Why Fast; What Fasting Does; What We Should Fast About. “Scripture teaches,” he said, that fasting should be a part of our lives - for the glory of God.”
We don’t fast in order to change God’s mind about the things we desire. The true blessing that comes through fasting is the way it changes us. God never asks us to do something He hasn’t purposed for our good, and His good purpose is to make us more like Jesus.
We could probably all manage to summon up the strength to fast for a short time, but God hasn’t asked us to take part in an endurance test. He asks us to set aside the desire we have for other things and hunger after Him. Just like the distracted parents at dinner, we cannot possibly have a relationship with the Lord that changes and fills us unless we focus on Him.
That time in the restaurant could have been a time of sharing and drawing closer for that family. Life is busy - filled with things that demand our time and energy. We have to work to have those special moments with our loved ones if we want to truly know each others’ hearts.
The same is true of our relationship with the Lord. In the midst of our busy, ordinary lives we need to make time to give our Heavenly Father our full attention - to sit quietly and listen to His heart, to pour out our own hearts as He bends down low to hear words that come from the deepest part of us. He has so much for us - more than we could ever ask or think. He simply wants us to come.