“Resist the urge to have that ‘last big feast’”…. whoops, too late for that one. Next, many folks suggested picking a verse to meditate on. This seemed like a fabulous suggestion, so I decided on John 6:35 – “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’” I also committed to praying every time I thought about food or felt hunger pains. With my new plans in place, I went to bed eager to start the next day!
Armed with prayer and God’s word, I was able to get through the first 16 hours of the day pretty smoothly. I even began to appreciate the hunger pains, as it became my alarm system, reminding me to stop what I was doing and pray for RE:ACTS, Southeast Asia, and my own heart. However as the night wore on, and the hunger pains refused to subside, I found myself trying to find things to do to distract me from the hunger. Instead of praying fervently and relying on God and His word to sustain me like I should have, I watched an episode of “Say Yes to the Dress”…okay, maybe 4. I looked at the clock and realized I only had one more hour to go! “I can’t end my fast like this!!” I thought to myself, so I decided to look up more verses on fasting. That’s when I stumbled across this beauty and became convicted of my wretched heart.
“Is this the kind of fast I have chosen, only a day for people to humble themselves? Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed and for lying in sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call a fast, a day acceptable to the Lord? Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter, when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?”
I realized I had been looking at this day of fasting as something to be accomplished, something to check off. I was willing to give up food for one day, but was I willing to really be transformed from the inside so that I would humble myself EVERYDAY, love and pray for His people EVEYRDAY, and live devoted and reliant on Him EVERYDAY? God’s still got a lot left to do in me, but I am grateful for this reminder of my failings and God’s great grace that covers all of it!