Okay. So I'm taking a big chance here with today's post. But this is literally bubbling out of me.
I'm in the process of completing a three day fast. (Please don't quit reading. This will not include a sermon, I promise you!)
It's the first time I've ever tried something like this.
Now, Frank has fasted routinely ever since I've known him. He enjoys both the spiritual and physical benefits.
Many times I wanted to join him. But the sad truth is - I Was Scared! There it is. I've confessed before each of you who dares to read this today. Embarrassing but true. I was scared to go without food!
Several years ago a doctor told me that due to a medical condition I was struggling with at the time, it was unwise for me to fast. I held fast to that recommendation! (Pun totally intended.)
So when Frank would call for a corporate fast with our church or for our family, I had to get creative. All sugars. Television. Hot tea. These were three of my favorite pleasures that I would relinquish for the duration of the fasting time.
And I still believe this is totally acceptable. But in late May of this year, I felt the Lord begin to nudge me about a total food fast. Water - lots and lots of water, of course - but no food.
Please be aware that I'm not telling you this to make myself look holy or special in any way. Quite the opposite! I was totally nervous about attempting this. And now I'm just so overwhelmed with the experience that I have no choice but to share it with you.
I reluctantly shared the nudgings with Frank who immediately got very excited. Sigh. So July 1, I began getting my body ready. Cut out all sugar. Decrease caffeine. Pray for courage!
Frank and I had put July 15 on the calendar for our start date. Three days. It would be just three days. Beginning after lunch on Sunday and concluding with broth on Wednesday night.
I have to tell you that tears spring to my eyes when I think how frightened and anxious I was about this adventure. I'm a three-square-meals-a-day kinda girl. I haven't skipped breakfast since college days. It makes me anxious when the doctor tells me to come in for fasting blood work!
Pondering three days without food was just about too much!
Laying in bed that first night after no dinner, Wednesday seemed a hundred years away! I had to literally keep saying to myself, "Are you okay right this minute? 'Yes.' Then don't worry about Wednesday. Focus on right now!" 'Right! Focusing on right now.'
If you are a veteran at this, I'm sure you're smiling now. But that's where I was, plain and simple. Terror is not too strong a word, trust me.
I remember several years ago when we decided to do a family fast. Each of the girls was to choose what they would fast. Kristin bravely relinquished her favorite afternoon television show. It seems that Meagan gave up a favorite doll. Joy announced boldly that she would be giving up all bike riding for the fast.
Now, we were homeschooling at the time. And that bicycle was the singular way we kept sane! When Joy would get overwhelmed or exasperated with her work, I would say, "Joy, go ride your bike around the house ten times and let's try it again."
She would always come back refreshed and ready to tackle the problem.
When she announced she would be giving up her bike for the week, I wanted to yell, "NO! Oh, please no! Not the Bike!!"
Needless to say, we made it through.
We also survived thirty days with NO TELEVISION a couple of times. Those were rocky getting started but wow the dividends they brought to our family.
The point? We survived.
Now trust me, I've never looked forward to a bowl of broth like I'm looking forward to the one scheduled for six this evening. I even considered bringing a favorite bowl from home and special napkin!
But I've also never experienced the special quiet times like the ones I've had over these few days.
And as I prayed this morning, this thought occurred to me. Maybe others out there are just like me. You've felt the nudging for spiritual disciplines from time to time but are just plain scared to attempt it. What if I fail?! What if I get overwhelmed?! What if I just don't have the fortitude?!
Here's the whispered response. Start small. "If we seek Him, He will be found." And oh, how special the finding!
See? No sermon. Just a thought.
For some of you, this is just for tucking away until a later time. But for others, I hope this will be just the encouragement you need to respond to the nudging you've had. To launch out in faith and see what wonders God has waiting for you.
Six o'clock is fast approaching! Anyone have a spoon handy?!