3.07.2011

In Which He is Enough

Today I break and indeed have broken (with glorious coffee and a lovely scrambled egg) my twenty-one day fast from sugar, any animal products, yeast and artificial additives otherwise called The Daniel Fast.  It has been difficult, sometimes incredibly so. Immediate gratification is so pervasive within me, and no wonder when I live in a world where so much, both good and bad, lies seconds away at my fingertips.  It has been freeing, a freedom I hope to maintain and hold on to by making many changes, such as most sugars and artificial ingredients,  as permanent as possible (make note, I still intend to eat cake on my birthday). I honestly feel better physically than I have in a long time, and what's more my sleep is regulated (not even a hint of insomnia since I started) and weight is literally falling off.  These are side benefits as they were not my area of focus, but God loves to give good gifts and these were certainly great ones to give. I would love to write a lovely and what would be very long and involved blog on the observations and insights I have gained these past three weeks, but part of the unpeeling process is continuing to work out what has begun in me. Instead I have made a list of insights in my prayer journal that I intend to pray over, meditate on and continue to practice as the year unfolds. Those I will share here, in convenient listy form.

  • Sometimes - most times - food and good feeling (which I associate often with food) are my god(s).
  • I equate a full belly with happiness
  • I equate accommodating the cravings of my mouth with fullness
  • Food is a means to control what I want, when I want it and how I want it.  It makes me my own god.
  • Self denial is truly a form of dying to myself
  • Fasting is a physical practice of the spiritual concept of putting away temporary, earthly things which are not "bad" or "wrong" for that which is eternal and better
  • Fasting is a way of reminding myself daily, hourly and moment by moment that man does not live by bread alone
  • Fasting is a practical way to learn to find joy in the sacrifice in a way that is even more personal than my pocketbook
  • Fasting is way to tangibly experience the war of the physical self against the Spirit
  • Fasting is also a way to become physically close to the spiritual battle that goes on around me
  • There are ways that God has permanently changed the way I think about food and about Him
  • I am a shallow person whose joy can be eradicated by simple food choices
  • I am a weak vessel whose physical self can be so affected by chemical substances
  • I have a stiff neck that would rather dwell on physical emptiness than the fullness of God
  • I have a proud head that believed(s) self-will can accomplish anything
  • God provided strength, encouragement, companionship, laughter, tests, opportunities to break my fast (which thankfully and ONLY THROUGH GRACE did I not ), hope and  the desires of my heart
  • God taught me that He is my defense and I need not defend myself
  • God revealed the hearts of others - their struggles, their pain and their battles as I battled
  • God met me every morning as I pitifully came to him and began to lay down the foundations of a much richer prayer life - a discipline which I sorely lack
  • God challenged me with tasks to be obedient even when I did not make obedience my first priority
  • God revealed truths about who He is, how He works in me
  • In my weakness, He is strong
  • He is my portion
  • He is my deliverer
  • He prepares a table for me
  • He invites me to the feast
  • His word is sweeter than honey
  • His body is my bread
  • He blood is my wine
  • He is my manna in the desert
  • He brings me to still waters, living waters
  • He breaks me in order to rebuild
  • He empties me in order to refill
  • He is All
  • He is Enough