Fasting from Worry
to Feast on Trust



Many of us think of fasting as being about food.  We might “give up” chocolate for Lent.  Or perhaps, we have decided our fasting should be less about material things and more about self-improvement.   So we give up gossip.  Rarely, though, do we ask ourselves why we would fast from anything at all.  Giving up chocolate might help our waistlines.  Giving up gossip might make our workplace more friendly.  These are good things!  However, what if we saw our Lenten practice of fasting as more than just a restart of what were likely New Year’s resolutions gone bust?  What if we reframed fasting to be about growing our understanding about who we are as God’s beloved children, and what gets in the way of us living as who we are?

Fasting is the recognition that we are dependent on God for everything:  everything from our next meal to our next breath.  It helps us remember that we aren’t as self-reliant as we would like to be.  Ultimately, fasting is a practice that helps us move from worry (and the need for control that worry can grow in us) to trust in the One who is our constant Helper, Keeper, and Companion, who is with us in our worry.  Fasting could still be about chocolate or gossip, because chocolate might be about loneliness and gossip about the need to look good—places of worry for many of us.  But maybe there is something more true for you to fast from this Lent.


I lift up my eyes to the hills— from where will my help come?
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in
    from this time on and forevermore.      — Psalm 121


  • Look back over the past week.  How are you unwrapping that gift from God (your intention) this Lent? God specializes in surprises and possibilities, so have a curious awareness as you grow deeper and wider in your love relationship with God and others.

  • How are your spiritual practices going?  As you reflect deeper on fasting, do you need to refocus how you might fast this Lent?  Talk over your worries with God.  What might you fast from so that you can grow in trust?

  • This week we focus on Fasting From Worry to Feast on Trust in our scripture passage.
    Are there any words or ideas that especially resonate with you or challenge you?
    Ponder these words from God to you.  One way to do this is to re-write the psalm in your own words:
    — Read each section of the psalm asking:  What do these words say?  What do they mean for me?
    — Rewrite each section using your reflections.
    — Talk to God with your psalm in prayer.
    — What is the invitation in these words—both the psalmist’s words and your own—for you and your life right now?