Friday, May 7, 2010
Our church scheduled a big event for this weekend, literally. We’re calling it Big God Weekend as we host evangelist Ken Freeman. Ken is a compelling speaker and personality with a phenomenal ability to connect to people who don't have a personal relationship with Christ. We anticipate great things (hence the title) from our weekend with Ken—but not just because of him. My pastor husband carefully reminded our church that we need to pray and (gulp!) go one step further and practice a much neglected spiritual discipline: fasting.
My husband is adept at fasting. He’s accomplished several 40-day fasts. He loves the time he spends with God in prayer. I, however, fast in much shorter time periods: two days ... one ... a meal at a time--and try not to feel virtuous about it.
We host a weekly Bible study in our home, and I normally serve food before we get started. But this week as I was contemplating a menu, Barry said, “Maybe we should all fast together that night.”
We knew that would encourage some to fast and introduce the discipline to others. We sent out a memo to our regular attenders: No food being served; they got it.
Fast day was busy, a round of meetings and deadlines, and the only food I scrounged was a package of peanut butter and crackers for lunch. By the time I picked up my daughter from school, I was hungry. The errant thought crossed my mind that I could grab a bite to eat now and still skip dinner later… couldn’t I? “God, do you want me to fast?” It sure seemed like He said yes.
My mind reviewed the next day, already thinking ahead to the meal I would eventually eat. Except … there would be no time for fixing or finding food that day either. I sighed. It was going to be another cracker day. I felt so deprived. “God, are you sure?” It sure seemed like He was.
Our group arrived, and one guy carried in a picture-perfect chocolate silk cream pie. Uh-oh. He didn’t get the memo. I figured his family would enjoy it just as much as the group.
So, despite the pie, we fasted that night, and we prayed. We prayed for the weekend and big results. We prayed that we would please God and be more like Him.
As I returned home later that evening from picking up our daughter from her life group, my eyes fell on a plate with two slices of pie. "For tomorrow," my husband said. "A gift."
And I had worried about eating crumbs for breakfast? Not with my God, who provides in the most creative ways, and graciously arranges ways for a hungry heart to get filled with Him--while you eat ... pie!