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Wednesday, 17 February 2021 07:00

Eating Chocolate is Self-Denial

 2021.08.mainblogmel

What?    Eating chocolate is self-denial – are you crazy. Hopefully the name of this blog got your attention because it is actually true. When you think about Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, what comes to mind? Are you excited for the opportunity to embrace a season where we are encouraged to deepen in relationship with Jesus or do you feel dread at the things you are challenged to give up or take on.

One Lent, not so long ago, with thoughts of the chocolate I had decided to deny myself prominent in my mind, I was wondering how it was that I would make it without my favourite sweet treat. A part of me began to ask God, ‘Is it really possible that you are asking me to give up and deny myself some chocolate. Surely not, does it really matter if I choose something else and eat chocolate anyway?’

At that moment, I recalled something powerful I had read about fasting and feasting – I can’t remember the source of this wisdom but it challenged and encouraged me in this regard. It went something like this….. when we give up something like chocolate, we think we are denying ourselves, but in a paradoxical kind of way it is actually when we indulge in chocolate that we are actually denying ourselves.

Need a moment to think about that – I sure did the first time I read it -but there is a beautiful truth and wisdom in those words. Abstinence and self-denial create a unique space for God to reveal himself to us and to draw close to us in new and fresh ways. So, to use my example, if I fill that space with chocolate, then I deny myself the opportunity to have that space be filled by God in a far more fulfilling way than the short term buzz chocolate may bring.

If you haven’t already, spend some time today asking God what it is he wants for you during Lent this year. What is there that he might be inviting you to take on or give up in order to create a space inside of you that he longs to fill with his loving presence in a fresh and new way.

Mel Edwards