My body feels amazing. So clean, and my mind feels more balanced. I have more sustainable energy, true energy, not generated from coffee. And my spirit still rests in that place of anticipation. This month will be the hardest on my body. The others will be a test of character—but something about denying yourself foods prepares your mind, body, and heart to handle those fiery tests. Yesterday I had a conversation with Clark that went like this:
Sally, you got to try these cookies.
Clark, I can’t. I’m fasting remember…
Do you understand why I am fasting?
Yea, to get closer to Jesus.
I think it’s working.
Really? Why’s that?
Because you are always nice now. You are a lot nicer now than ever…
I thought the opposite was happening. I am always hungry. Always. No matter how full I actually feel, no matter how big my meal was, my body is demanding something that I am denying it. It’s the strangest thing. But those pangs, and those personal wants of treats….chocolaty goodness, salty, saturated, fatty goodness, and, of course, my Beloved and Precious coffee (oh how I long for you, old friend), bring up such ugliness in my heart that I thought was coming out in my word and deed as well. Richard Foster brings something interesting up about fasting in Celebration of Discipline:
More than anything, fasting reveals the things that control us. We cover up what is inside us with food and other good things, but in fasting, these things surface. If pride controls us, it will be revealed almost immediately…Anger, bitterness, jealousy, strife, fear—if they are within us, they will surface during fasting…
Our weaknesses are so easily covered up, and so difficult to face. This fast is bringing everything to the surface. I feel like there’s no escaping my need for help, healing, deliverance, transformation, and renewal—and I can’t just turn to a cookie to find comfort and stuff down my feelings of inadequacy and failure. I have to take those feelings to the throne of God, present them to him, and receive The Answer: The Cross.
“Now the law came to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more… [Romans 5:20].