There is so much more to life than what our five senses tell us! There's an unseen world that exists with this physical one, and God created them both. We have been placed here not to just survive, but to live life to the fullest!
The start of this year, one of my teenage daughters inspired me profoundly. She told me she was going on a fast - a part-day fast. No food. She wanted to spend time with God. She had some things to ask Him - to talk to Him about.
Then she told me she would spend part of it in our woods.
The woods? I hesitated a bit - thought - then remembered my youth. She wanted to be away from the distractions of the house, the yard. She wanted the trails, the woods, and God. So, I gave her boundaries and let her go.
We expect our kids to stump us every now and then, but spiritual stuff seems to affect a whole other level. It did when my youngest told me, months ago, she would join me in fasting and praying. She would fast snacks (2 out of 3), and pray, instead of eating. I remember chuckling to myself, thinking - how cute. Yet, who knew what the Almight was already establishing in her heart from the tender age of ten.
God does that. He starts things in us before we're even aware. Sometimes we see it, in retrospect. Often we don't.
I like to think He saves things from us, for us. Sometimes we have a way of messing up when we know too much.
Explaining what a fast is, to my girls, reminded me of why I do it. It's not for show and not for selfish gain. Sacrifice feeding the body, to feed the soul - the spirit. And not just the food. I usually spend time in prayer, reading the Bible, abstaining from things of little spiritual value. I watch what I listen to, what I read, say, do - as best I can.
Even more difficult is fasting while still having to do household chores, chauffeuring - and, yes, cooking, etc. It's not a perfect science, but hunger pangs are enough reminder of what I'm about. It's not easy to forget, especially if you're doing it in the woods.
It doesn't always work the way I hope. Sometimes I'm cranky and wonder why I even bother. Sometimes the distractions are overwhelming. The hardest fasts are the ones when I just don't feel like it, but He's given me clear direction I should. I get cranky with Him. But in the end, and not always the same day, I usually see why I needed that intense time with Him and the unforseen benefits. He's so good.
And, I have to say, fasting shows what's really important. May He truly be first now, while we're here and in these bodies, as He will be in eternity.
It'll be interesting to see where my daughter decides to go should she fast this summer. Guaranteed the mosquitoes won't be fasting in our woods.
(fasting - Matt. 6:16-18)
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