Day Twenty: Contemplate and Cultivate
Fasting Date: Saturday, February 24, 2018
“My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” (Psalm 63:5-8 ESV)
As our bodies are meant to be strengthened and satisfied by eating food, so our souls are meant to be strengthened and satisfied by knowing God. In our innermost being we know this to be true and would readily confess that God alone is the answer to our longing for fulfillment, but the question remains, how can this move from being an empty truth to which we give mere mental assent to a genuine reality that we experience in our everyday lives? If we were to ask David, the author of Psalm 63, to offer us some advice, the words “contemplate” and “cultivate” might proceed from his mouth. You can see this in the verses above. If we purposefully take time to be still and contemplate the greatness and the goodness of God, meditating on His perfections and remembering the countless ways he has been our help, and if we cultivate closeness with him, listening to him speak to us and offering up our praises to him, relinquishing our grip on worldly trinkets and holding tightly to the One who holds tightly to us, then we will find ourselves on the road to experiencing a satisfied soul.
In fasting, we abstain in order to obtain – denying the body the food it craves while feeding the soul what it was created to enjoy. As we restrain from indulging in our normal intake of food, it is with the hopes that we will take time to contemplate the glories of God and to cultivate closeness with the One who intricately created us, who intimately knows us, and who alone is able to minister to our deepest longings.
Reflection: As you contemplate the greatness and the goodness of God, what is one nourishing truth you can meditate on to feed your soul?