PROMISE #13 ~ HARDSHIP (but, trust in Him… and enter the Kingdom)
It was about fasting. Now, I don’t know about you, but I had never even considered it. Yes, there are plenty… plenty of people who do this. Fasting is a way to draw closer to God, to seek His guidance, to come before Him in humility… taking the focus off of our daily events. I just thought this was something for monks… or Jesus.
Oh, to be like Him…
I have heard about fasting, I have a few friends who have done this… it just never occurred to me that I should give it a try.
And, then, God.
I don’t know where this sparked, well… let’s say, I don’t know why I responded to the nudge… but, I did.
One of the things about fasting is the need to keep it to yourself… between you and God. I feel compelled to share, not when or how I approached this challenge, but, rather the outcome… outcomes.
I have to say that in my walk, I have had several God moments that have left me speechless… kicking my God doubts straight to the curb. I have had the “Ah ha!” moments, the joyous moments of thanks, the moments of sheer frustration with my own inability to measure up (to my self-imposed I’ve-got-it-all-together-Christian-mama-wife standards). (Aside: I definitely do not have it all together, so these moments are rare). I have seen sorrow, breathed sorrow, tasted the saltiness of it from my cheeks.
What I am seeking… what I desperately want to meet first hand… is the intense knowledge that God is right here. The sense that my breath ricochets from His face before mine as I speak to Him. Bare soul.
and, then, the fast.
So, I was hungry. I was pretty grumpy. I looked at the clock and wondered when my time would be up. Then… I went to Him. When my thoughts went to my kids’ left overs… I went to Him. When I hesitated at the refrigerator door chocked full from a commissary run… I went to Him. You know what? He answered. No surprise. He answered clearly. No doubt. He was in my next breath.
It was one of the most intimate times I have spent with Him. My thoughts of lunch, of chocolate, of snacks… erased by His glorious presence…
filled with the sweet taste of grace
I looked at my clock… knowing that I had 2 hours left in my pact with Him. I was hungry. By no coincidence I glanced to the counter at a photo. A little boy in Africa… just months older than my baby… starving to death.
My prayers changed. From me to them. This day… a seeking of Him… and He showed me them. Again.
No coincidences. Just a little while later. Two letters arrived. The first letters from our sponsor children through Compassion. Again, them. Not me.
That we have a gracious God who answers our knocks and brings us in… that He acknowledges and blesses our efforts to find Him, to know Him, to be like Him.
It renders this soul… full
PROMISE #13 ~ God promises there will be hardships… but trust Him… and enter the Kingdom.
strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust.