Fasting as a synonym for rejoicing?! Um, not so much.
Guest blogger: Ellen King
Fasting is not easy for me (nor for most, I suspect). Going without food and water for a day in world where most people feed every appetite and passion instantly, until it's satiated, seems a little extreme in the opposite direction. Knowing it's the right thing to do, doesn't always make it easier, let alone call for rejoicing during the doing of it. But this week I caught a glimpse.
This week for FHE, Wade and I studied the Sunday School lesson scriptures. The topic was on fasting and tithing. As we took turns reading the scriptures, the blessings of fasting jumped off the page.
I grabbed some paper and with a marker made a list of the blessings to hang up on the bathroom mirror, so we could ponder them.
We could have dived deeper into the cross-references in order to understand the metaphors, but the power of the promised blessings of the fast from those few scriptures was sufficient food for thought for this week.
I emphasize the word power. Who doesn't want more power from heaven to get through their days?! Taken all together, this list is powerful.
- Your joy may be full
- Fasting is rejoicing
- Fullness of earth is yours
- Loose bands of wickedness
- Undo heavy burdens
- Oppressed go free
- Break every yoke
- Thy light breaks forth
- Health shall spring forth speedily
- Thy righteousness shall go before thee
- The glory of the Lord shall be thy rearguard
- Lord will answer call
- And say "here am I" when cry
- Thy light rise in obscurity or shine in darkness
- Thy darkness shall be as noonday
- Lord shall guide continually
- Satisfy soul in drought (personal security in time of need)
- Make fat (strengthen) thy bones
- Be a watered garden
- Spring of waters fail not (inspiration and wisdom continually)
- They that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places
- Raise up foundations of many generation
- Called repairer of breach and restorer of paths to dwell (reactivation and rehabilitation)
- More power to prayer
- Thy Father shall reward thee openly
Well, here is the interesting part (sorry for the long post). Just a few days later I had need in my soul for "undoing a heavy burden" and hearing the Lord say "here am I" when I cried, and several other of these promises. I had a family member in need and I wanted to know what to do and say. I needed prayers with more power.
So, I remembered the promises and I fasted. Right there in the middle of the week.
With these promises fresh in my mind, I found it was easier this time. During a busy work day, I had reason (a grumbling stomach) to refocus for a few minutes on this important matter and say a quick prayer. It didn't feel like the "suffering" of past fasts. I knew God heard me that day.
And, there were even a few moments of...rejoicing!
[Okay guest bloggers, your turn!]