For the past month, God has definitely placed orphans on my heart and I knew He wanted me to participate in this. So I did. Here was my thinking process:
Sign up – easy
Expectations – how hard can this be?
Preparation – none (I ate ribs and a mochi waffle the night before my fast)
Needless to say, I will not be taking fasting lightly ever again. God definitely brought to light things that I never knew before and things that I have forgotten during my day-to-day living. Here are the top 3:
1. I snack a lot!
I found myself fighting the habit to pick up things to eat throughout the day, especially during work! I teach preschool and my class has plenty to eat in such a short period of time. While preparing snack for them, I found myself unconsciously picking up pieces of fruit to eat! (Don’t worry, I didn’t.) Lunch time was rough too! Confession: I sometimes eat some of the untouched leftovers in my students’ school lunches. Then I got home. Oh man! My house holds snacks galore! Chips, cereal, cookies, peanuts, fruit, candy, even preserved prunes!! It was definitely an eye opener of how unaware I am of my habits. Made me reflect on what other areas of my life I do unconsciously.
2. God definitely knows what I can handle.
The hardest part for me during the fast was the feeling of weakness. My limbs felt all jello-y, like I could not lift anything weighing more than a tshirt. Thank God He lessened my work load. I normally teach a class of 9 students all with some degree of hearing loss. The number appears small, but don’t let that fool you. They are a handful. Praise God, during my fast, I had 5 students for the first day and 6 the second! That was definitely a blessing! I can’t imagine what kind of impatient and irritable monster I would be if my buttons got pushed too hard…
3. Praise the Lord for temporary things!
Jesus tells us that that in this world we will have trouble, but take heart for He has overcome it; He tells us that in Him we may find peace (John 16:33). Day 2 was definitely the hardest. I was eagerly awaiting midnight so that I could eat something with starch (rice, cereal, bread, etc). I knew that the fast was only temporary and that there was fulfillment in the end. Thinking beyond my stomach, God reminded me that this life on earth is temporary, that true fulfillment is found only in Him. There is an end to hunger, an end to sickness, an end to suffering. Jesus was victorious over death and we are allowed to partake in that with him. The idea of eternity never really hit me until I realized how temporal things here on earth are. Oh but how easily we forget; how quickly we fixate on the hardship rather than the hope.
Fasting was a new experience for me. I thank God that He was there alongside me and for the prayers from people in my life. I found comfort in knowing that Jesus could relate to the hunger as well as other brothers and sisters. I found peace in knowing that this was just temporary. Praise the Lord for He reminded me that He truly is all I need!