Blogging has been tough for me to do this year (obviously!) It always seems that there are more important and urgent things to do. I think about it often during the week, but that’s as far as it’s gone for months now.
But I’m feeling the urge this week because of something specific that’s going on…So here it goes (again).
Today our church begins a journey we’ve never walked before in the almost 40 years I’ve been here. We are embarking on a 10-day church-wide fast leading up to Pentecost Sunday. During these 10 days, I’d like to write about my own feelings and thoughts and actions relating to the fast. Maybe my posts will encourage someone who reads them. Maybe they will only help ME. Either way, I’m going to give it my best shot to be disciplined in writing daily.
When John and I first began to talk about calling the church to this 10-day fast about three months ago, I was almost hyperventilating as we discussed it and then I broke down in tears, saying, “I believe the Lord is calling us to this, but I truly don’t have any idea how in the world I’ll be able to do it.” I’ve always NEEDED food every few hours in order to maintain a good blood sugar level. I couldn’t imagine how I would go hours – days – without eating regularly. But this sense of urgency was heavy upon me that this was God’s call on our lives and on our church for this period of time.
So, I decided to begin experimenting with fasting before it came to the church-wide fast. I took two days a week to do a bread and water fast. I entered the experiment with great apprehension: Could I really do this? What if I failed? What would my failure say about God and His power? Would I be too weak to do my job? And on and on the questions and fears went.
Guess what. I am thrilled to write that the Lord proved Himself to me as He’s done thousands of times before! He filled me with strength. I didn’t experience the headaches I was dreading. Though it was hard, the Lord and I did it! (It was especially hard by 7:00 p.m. I’d often say, “Lord, if you don’t help me right now, I’m going to go into that kitchen and eat anything I can get my hands on!”) My Savior came through for me every single hour of that fast.
Now I’m embarking on a much more difficult fast. 10 DAYS!!!!!!!!!! The same questions sometimes wash over me and I get apprehensive about the outcome. But I’m also filled with a measure of excitement that supercedes the fears and apprehension and anxiety. My heart pounds inside me as I anticipate what the Lord just might do in these 10 days as hundreds and hundreds of people sacrifice something (food? media?) in order to demonstrate how desperate we are for God to work in greater ways.
So, I began today on my knees, yielding this body to my Savior, asking Him to help me minute by minute to be strong in His strength. And I continue today to sing the words of an old song I grew up singing:
“Come, Holy Spirit, I need you.
Come, sweet Spirit, I pray.
Come in your strength and your power.
Come, in your own gentle way.”