I'm looking forward to our fast next week and, as I'm preparing for it, this thought keeps turning around in my head:
Sometimes the only way to take God's hands is when we let go of other people's. Only when we let go of others' support can we inspect His strong hands fully and hold them tight.
Similarly, there's this whole other prop in life that we can, at times, let go of for our own closeness with Him: Food. It's our most basic of necessities, and when we forego it we practise clinging to Him in a way that feels like no other.
Fasting leaves us needy. I can certainly say that in my own case it only takes a few hours of non-eating for me to hit the couch and curl up with Him, pen and journal in hand. Anything more industrious becomes impossible. So I become all about Him.
Friends, how do you feel about the fast as next week approaches, especially as it's a challenging one? One hard part for me is doubt in my ability. There are three traits of mine that don't set me up well to start the week: I hate physical discomfort, I’m a wimp with physical challenges, and I love food -- So very much. But I jump in because I know that God has treats for me within it. When the week is up I’m always struck by something powerful that happened, either to me or someone else within this community.
And so on that note, here’s the plan --
The fast will start at sunrise this coming Monday (6 January), and finish at sunset on Friday. Many of us will try no solid food for five days. But, if you’re new to fasting, start small: A good alternative would be no food from sunrise to sunset each day, and I've pasted some links to articles at the end of this post if you'd like to read more. Pray and ask God what kind of fast to do and ask for help preparing.
This year will have a special focus as Lynn will be leading us in a study of the power of communion. Keep some bread and wine to hand.
So that's it for now. Lynn will be on here on Monday to kick it off. In the meantime perhaps we can chat in the comments to help us all prepare:
- What kind of fast do you think you'll do?
- How have past fasts gone, what blessings came from those?
- Will you try something new this time?
Articles on fasting: