There is a long standing joke amongst many of my Christian friends when it comes to asking the Lord for patience. When it comes time for prayer requests and somebody asks that we pray for patience, one of two things happens, people either laugh or just shake their heads. This may sound insensitive but really it is out of love. Anyone who has been there before knows that if you ask God for patience he is not going to wave his hands and BAM you instantly feel more patient. Instead, he is going to present you with opportunity after opportunity to practice patience. That is a hard way to go about it and therefore we try to guide those who have yet to experience this so that they don't have to find out the hard way.
Somebody should have warned me that this applies to other areas as well. I am referring specifically to this fast (if you missed that post, catch up here). I naively went into it thinking, "This will be great, I will ask God to give me clarity and vision for what He wants me to be doing in my life." Can I just say, stupid? Okay, not really, but stay with me here. Let me just say that I am really getting what I asked for. God is showing me exactly what I need to learn. And that isn't necessarily easy!!
I still need time to process most of this before I can fully share what God is working on and revealing to me. But I will say that I have more time than I thought for that to happen. Yesterday proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be. I was all mopey about not getting to celebrate Mother's Day right and so I gave in to that feeling and convinced Jeremy to take us all to coffee and muffins before church. Before you ask what the crime is there, neither of those things are allowed on this fast. (Here is the does and don'ts of what I can eat: Daniel Fast Food List). I know, shame on me I couldn't even make it two whole days. But we did jump right back into it after that. That is until a extended family crisis of sorts came up (don't worry, everyone is okay). In reaction to that we decided to love on said family members by driving to their house with dinner...a non-fast approved dinner I might add. Okay, so now the day was officially blown.
Now normally, I would just throw in the towel. Obviously I had failed and there was just no point in continuing. This is where I am so thankful for my husband. Where I am weak he is strong and he convinced me that we needed to do this right so together we made the decision to restart our 10 days today. And you want to know the cool thing? God has used this little blip to remind me that even in our failure he gives us grace and that we should do the same for ourselves. You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 2:1) I was also reminded that in our weakness God reveals himself and uses us if we are open. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:10) Yesterday reminded me of the unhealthy role that food plays in my life. It is how I celebrate, how I fellowship, how I comfort myself and others. Shouldn't that role in my life be reserved for God?
In a way, I am glad that we got the chance to start over. Already God has changed my perspective as I enter into this fast a second time. I cannot make it about the food, that is just symbolic of the sacrifice I should be willing to make to get closer to God. After all, Christ made the ultimate sacrifice for me. I am now ready to glean from this experience exactly what God wants me to. Hold on to your seats ladies and gentlemen, it may be a bumpy ride!