Hi everyone, we have made it to day five! It's Friday morning here in New Zealand, as I write. How has it gone for you? I can't wait to hear.
I don't feel too bad here but am slow. At points in the week, it has felt overwhelmingly long and difficult. This morning, I could finally see the end: I went out to buy a big lasagne and garlic bread for tonight... Which I cannot wait to gobble up.
But first -- before that joyous lasagne -- I am going to have the afternoon with God in my shed, and you know wha .... I'm looking forward to that more.
Sometimes our fasts go smoothly, other times less so. So don't worry if you did less than you hoped. I have had some fasts where I have given up, then re-started. One time God showed me how much he valued even those failed attempts. He smiles on our efforts.
One new thing I did this year was carve out more time for God. I've suddenly found myself at the stage of life where I can do that. The cabin in the garden was a real treat, and I even got to retreat there in the evenings this week.
Bryce didn't seem to mind that, so I went for it. And there I would lie .... on the floor in that cabin, talking to God. Because our theme was friendship with God, I tried to just go there.
It was a gentle, quiet week with the Lord that seems apt for a week where we're trying to be God's friend. I personally didn't feel his presence more strongly than I do normally, but perhaps you did. In a way, the flavor for me was more quiet than usual. But on Thursday I was excited to receive a word from him about our community, and so I recorded that on video yesterday, and I did it from the shed, in the spirit of fasting. Here it is, and I hope it blesses you. He is good to us.
As for ending our fast, shall we do this one last thing? Just before the fast draws to an end today, let's all get a piece of bread and some wine/juice, and take communion. As we do, think of this scripture and even read it out loud:
And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." (John 6:35)
It feels especially meaningful to take communion when you're hungry, and to say "Thank you for being my bread of life, Jesus, and thank you for your blood, which also has given me life."
SUMites, we love him, and we are his army of warrior men and women. I think he would say to us, as soldiers who've gone through a lot, "I know what you fight for and what you do." As I think of those I know in this community, I find you pretty incredible.
Now, I would love to hear how your fast is going so far -- or has gone. Share in the comments, and all the very best as you cross the finish line!