Things We Lost in The Fast (Part II)
The second stretch of the Fast has proved more difficult. Not in the capacity of food, that is actually the easy part. We have missed a few nights of devotion as a family and we, at least I, can sense a difference when we do. I have had a few more comic blunders. If you are just joining me, I’ll recap this week’s fasting blunder moments now…
- Last Sunday we planned to be out of the house all day so I planned on making a roast in the crockpot. Plans changed and a fasting family smelled roast cooking for 6 hours, then still had to wait another hour to eat it.
- Monday, I was having a “what-are-you-thinking” talk with my 19 year old while making dinner. (this was around 5pm or so). At least 3 times I caught myself popping something into my mouth as I prepped – soon as I realized it, I spit it back out. MY dog is truly thankful for the fast.
- After volunteering yesterday at the Church someone brought in fruit drinks and smoothies. (Like the Naked Fruit Blends) I looked, debated, questioned and almost did not drink one for fear of breaking the fast. Then I drank one. (I have let myself get too dehydrated this week – got to work on that). I felt so much better, the weird feeling I had in my throat was gone – then I read the ingredients…fruit puree. It drank like a juice, I was still hungry…feel free to draw your own conclusion, but God knows my heart.
A Lesson Packing Food Boxes
This may be a bit backwards but it establishes a few things. Yesterday, we met at the church to fill boxes with groceries to distribute during the festival of life. I think the count was 48 volunteers and 938 boxes filled. This was done in about an hour and a half. Prior to getting started the volunteers were milling around talking, sharing Fasting stories and such. One lady talked about being diabetic and fasting. She said she and her husband had to watch their blood sugar and such, but they were participating and they had lost some weight in the process. Another woman is doing the full fast – no food, just water and juice. She admitted to struggling a little more now with hunger, especially when preparing things for her son, who is doing a partial fast like myself – 6am to 6pm. Everyone talked about their near misses, surprise blessings and in their stories I found a common thread. No one was complaining. Even when we talked about wanting to eat or being hungry…we were laughing, mostly at ourselves, but we were laughing. Each and every one of us knows at any point in time we can pick up a phone and order a pizza, open the fridge to make a sandwich or many other options in our homes. (For my fellow girls on assembly – Captain Crunch Berry Treats after the fast, you tell me when and where – I will bring them.) We are uncomfortable, occasionally we are getting a little cranky and that is when we reach for the Lord. We stretch further in those moments of weakness to reach him.
The church held two separate prayer services this week. Due to issues with work, I only made it to one. I cannot convey how disappointed I was at missing being at the second prayer service. I know it is important to pray on our own. I just cannot convey the magnitude of the prayer service I was at and how the Lord dealt with me.
On the Lord dealing with me. The Lord answers prayer…always. You just may not recognize the answer. I had been praying to be closer, for…well for more. To break through a plateau where I was spiritually. I had even started to think, “Maybe God does not intend _____ for me.” He did intend it for me. What I had been seeking was the Holy Spirit. Why had I not been filled? I asked. I felt like Donkey in Shriek yelling “pick me, pick me”. I saw something in others and I wanted it. I wanted to be at that next level in my faith.
I continued to pray and read my bible. I attended services, but honestly I was a little disheartened. I felt like I was doing something wrong. “Am I not asking right?”, “Is there a secret knock or handshake?”. Have you noticed that those thing MOST important to us are the ones we are most intimidated to ask others about? I had this urge to ask more than once my connect group leader, but I shied away. I almost asked the youth Pastor’s wife, again I shied away. These are two women in my church I was instantly, profoundly and unexplainably comfortable with, but I just could not even form the question.
The first Thursday of the Fast is when I posted “Things We Lost in The Fast (Part I)”. That same night I was the only person to show for our connect group. It was just me a Joi. As it turns out, she had been praying for me. That evening, I was filled with the Holy Spirit. No secret knock required. I did need some guidance and better understanding. Joi, being sensitive to the Spirit, was God’s instrument in helping me through that plateau.
Joi is a wonderful woman of God, but understand it is not the person that “makes this happen”. We had discussions previously about Jesus and the parable of the soils. Most of the time when you think of this parable you think only of the soil referring to hearts/souls being ready to hear and accept the gospel and be saved. I believe that is the original intent of this parable, but I think it goes deeper once you are saved.