Welcome to day one of our fast, and happy new year! From what I’m hearing, we’re not the only ones who are being led to fast right now. Quite separately, even my home church is fasting and I know other Christians are too. We’re led by the same Spirit.
This is my eighth fast with the SUM community, and every time it has been extraordinary. From these shared adventures, I now know that fasting does something very special. With that in mind, I thought I’d share my first ever fasting story. It’s a fun story, but it illustrates the fact that fasting shifts things.
It was just before I found the SUM community. I’d noticed in scripture that fasting makes the impossible possible, and so I quietly planned to try it. The opportunity finally came when my husband and boys planned a trip away, leaving me home alone. I marked it, like D-Day, on my calendar.
D-day came. I began with a coffee and my journal, and wrote down some things to talk to God about. For the rest of the day I sat on my couch and chatted to God. So far, so good.
But then -- oh the drama – things took a turn for the worse: Suddenly, my stomach twisted and lurched and I began to feel like I was going to be sick. Now this, to me, was absolute horror (I have not vomited for 19 years and don't plan to again!) I staggered to the kitchen with no small amount of distress, desperately shoved crackers down my throat, scraped myself to bed and spent the rest of the day in the fetal position, recovering. The fast, it seemed, had been an epic fail. Or had it?
Thankfully, it has never been anywhere like this bad again; it seems to get easier each time. But anyway, on with the story.
My evening in the fetal position subsided into sleep, and soon I was much better and sleeping like a baby. It was then – there in the dark – that something unusual happened: Tumbling words (in English) began pouring out of my mouth like a bubbling fountain, waking me up! I was praying, but it was certainly not my own doing. One thing that struck me was how articulate and well put together these words were.
I was left stunned.
It’s interesting how God knows just how to speak to our souls at a particular point in our lives. For me, this experience was strange, beautiful, and vividly showed me the Spirit interceding on my behalf (Romans 8:26-27). I’d been struggling to believe in God till then, but after that event I struggled much less. I kept thinking, “I cannot be atheist after what I experienced that night.”
It was the breakthrough I needed. It made me go “God is real. God really is real. Yikes, God is really, really real!!!!” In this way, my foot was lifted onto the next rung of the faith ladder, and I was able to keep on climbing.
Today, as I think about the power of fasting, I have one more lovely thing to share: This morning, as I woke, I had a little picture in my head. It was of a sharp, focused beam of light shining carefully onto a target. It made me wonder whether God is saying that when we fast, we open our heart to the light that He wants to direct onto a specific area -- and that light will surely come. In the case of my fun fasting story, that light was a healing experience that helped me overcome atheism. This time round, it’ll be something different. In any case, I will ask Him to bring His light, as He sees fit, to whatever places of my heart need it right now.
SUMites, lovely chatting today, and I’ll see you again tomorrow. In the meantime, what is your favorite fasting story? And how has your first day gone? I look forward to hearing in the comments.
“.. For assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Matthew 17:20-21, NKJV