When it comes to dieting,what is the primary goal? You want to be healthier, live healthier, eat healthier and feel healthier right? It's not always about losing a certain amount of weight, but having more energy, being the best person you can be and being good to your body. In the same way, we consider fasting, something that Christians did quite often in the past. They fasted in order to give more to God, to show their thankfulness, and show a certain penitence and remembrance for God's love for us, such as in Lent. In being the healthiest versions of ourselves, we are embracing this life God has given us, to the fullest extent.
Today's First Reading states:'James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion: Greeting. Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord. Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like the flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits'(James 1:1-11).
In today's reading we hear how we should be joyful about the tests and trials given to us, and should be exultant. This includes giving offerings to God, and taking time to remember His love for us. As Lent approaches, think of the ways you can best represent God's love in the world, through fasting, but also through giving. Pope Francis tells us to do our Lenten promise for the goodness of others. Take some time to ask God to help you offer yourself this Lenten season to embrace life in fast in remembrance and be healthy, and represent God's love by outwardly living in love.
Today's prayer comes from 'Crosswalk' a prayer for good health:
Praise You for this, and every day that we get to wake up this side of heaven. Each day is laced with purpose, and we ask for Your wisdom and guidance through every one. Help us to live each day well, and for Your glory, from start to finish.
Thank You for Your Word, which breathes life into our tired souls and minds. You promise to meet us there, in study and prayer. Thank You for the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross, paying with His life for our ease of access to our Heavenly Father through prayer and Scripture. Each biblical story and truth weave in and out our lives in Your perfect timing.
Father, You remind us throughout Scripture that You are faithful to Your people. Jeremiah 33:6 says, “Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” So often, as in the Old Testament, we rebel, neglect to care for ourselves as You do, and end up tired and sick. But Father You are faithful to enwrap us in Your healing love each time we turn back to You.
Forgive us for neglecting to care for the life You have entrusted us with. The life that You have purposed specifically to do more than we can ask for or imagine. When we go our own way, we wear ourselves down, physically and mentally. Other times, we train physically but neglect our psyche. We often neglect our spiritual life.
Father, strengthen us to hold captive the joy You bless our lives with daily. Help us to walk freely in Your love. For as Paul reminds us in 1 Timothy 4:8 (VOICE), “Although training your body has certain payoffs, godliness benefits all things--holding promise for life here and now and promise for the life that is coming.” Send us more of Your Holy Spirit, to help us focus on Your Word daily. Give us hearts like Jesus.
Give us the wisdom to seek You first each day, before each decision. It’s often the little thoughts and daily decisions that lead us into a sudden spiral of bad health. Enlighten us and guide us through Your Word. Let our hearts burn for more of You each day.
Help us endure the pain of chronic conditions, some of which will not find healing in this broken and sinful world. We know that You work all things for good, but in those moments of chronic pain and suffering, it can be impossible to understand Your perfect and just hand in it all.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.