Loving God. Loving People.

Pre-Fast Lesson: Day 7

Title: A Time for Everything
Text: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
By Heather Lambert

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecclesiastes:1-8)

Solomon in all of his wisdom with all of his riches and life of extravagancies, understood the importance of balance. Continuing the same line of thinking, I believe we could add to his list saying there is a time to feast and a time to fast. Throughout my life, celebrations, times of fellowship, and church events have centered on times of feasting. Some of the very best food I have ever tasted has been at church events! We are good at celebrations and feasting. Most of us would not even consider eliminating times of feasting from our lives. But, what if we fasted as much as we feasted? What if we sought the balance Solomon teaches?

If you continue reading the third chapter of Ecclesiastes you will see Solomon contrasts the importance of feasting and enjoying the toils of our labor with life as brief and fleeting. We will all eventually end with our earthly bodies returning to dust. It is our souls that will live forever. But how do we feed or nourish our souls? The feast of food is never satisfying to the soul. In reality, when we try to satisfy the longings of our souls with food, we create an idol that can be very damaging to our emotions, health, and cause our souls to starve. The feast of God, His word, and the beauty of being in His presence are the satisfaction our soul truly craves. So while we can all agree to join together in times of feasting, I am so thankful we can also all join together in times of fasting. A season set aside specifically to nourish our souls and feed the God-sized hunger in our lives.

This time of fasting can be challenging, difficult, and even painful. However, it can produce a deep satisfaction that even the best chocolate sheet cake could never begin to touch! So, let’s purpose to cherish this time of feasting as a different kind of celebration, a different kind of fellowship, as we collectively seek to add this spiritual discipline and practice to our lives.

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