Monday, February 17, 2014

When You Fast...

Last week I had surgery. I wasn't allowed to eat anything solid after lunch the day before. I was, however, allowed liquids, and even ice cream! (I totally took advantage of that one!). I was concerned that I would be hungry. My goodness, how would I go without a meal?

The funny thing is, I wasn't really hungry. I filled up at lunch; most of the night I didn't really feel hungry. Of course, I had ice cream to fill me up.

It made me think...I really have no idea what it's like to be "hungry." We toss that word around flippantly...I'm so hungry!...I'm starving!...I haven't eaten all day!

No, I really don't know what it's like to starve. Or even to be hungry. To have no choice but to go without food...for more than one meal...or more than one day. To be to the point of having no energy, wondering if I will even survive another day because I'm so hungry.

We typically don't think about it because for us, food is readily available. We always have a choice.

That's why fasting is a good idea. I used to fast. I stopped because...I don't know why. Because I decided I didn't want to be inconvenienced with being hungry I guess. But that's exactly why we fast. 

When I did fast, I learned that whenever I felt hunger was the time to look to God for my strength, to pray about whatever it is I was fasting about, if there was a specific reason. When we fast, we depend on and rely on God for our sustenance. It is an amazing way to become closer to the Lord. When we must rely on Him, we draw closer. He satisfies our hunger.

We are told to fast. When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by others, but by your Father, who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matt 6:16-18, ESV). It doesn't say "If you fast," it says, "When you fast."

 I urge you to consider fasting if you have never done so. There is no special formula. Give up what's really important to you. It may be a meal, it may be television. It may be a liquid fast for the day. Ask God to show you what you depend on for your sustenance, and then ask Him for the strength to give that up for a time.  If you already fast, I commend you.  I think you'll agree with me that wonderful things happen when you fast. 

I think it's time I to get back to fasting...I haven't realized what I've missed!

Blessings Along the Path,

Song of the Day
Hungry (Kathryn Scott)

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