I woke up starving today. I ate right before I went to bed and still woke up so hungry! Then, as I’m getting ready to go to work, Noah texts me to tell me that today is Chick-fil-a’s free biscuit day and to go before work and get one! That sounds like a blessing doesn’t it?! Well, I guess I forgot to mention that today is the day I committed to fasting.
Just to preface, I tried fasting only once before in my life, and let’s just say it was unsuccessful at best. My attitude towards the whole thing was terrible! I was grumpy all day without food and rather than turning to God for true fulfillment and to identify with Him in His suffering, I prayed only that He would take my hunger away (not quite understanding at the time that this was the main purpose of a fast…feeling hunger). I ended the day breaking my fast and giving in to my carnal hunger all the while thinking to myself “fasts are so stupid!”. I wish I was exaggerating.
So, you may wonder, “why in the world would you commit to fasting with that kind of experience to look back on?” Well, I know I had the wrong mindset through the whole occasion. I also believe that fasting is very powerful and, through self-evaluation, realize that I have never put myself in a place of being able to, on even the smallest level, identify with the sufferings of Christ. One thing I’ve learned about myself, and this is extremely difficult to admit, is that I turn into a monster the moment I am hungry and cannot eat, tired and cannot sleep, craving something that I cannot have, or made slightly uncomfortable in any way that deprives me of something I really want. Disgusting isn’t it? I think about those people starving all across the world who are still praising God and I turn into grumpy ogre the moment I don’t have my coffee. I pretend I could be as strong as those who go without and even dream of traveling to help them, but the reality is they are closer to God than I and I am the one who has so much to learn from them. So, I am not fasting today to change the world, although it greatly needs it. I am fasting in desperation that God change the selfish, spoiled person that is me.
Please pray for me as I fast today. Pray that I honestly seek God in moments of hunger, pain, frustration, and weakness. Just a side note: God has given me great peace and joy this morning. I know it may not last all day but I am so thankful for it now.