Yesterday was my first experience fasting. I was hoping it would be a deep and profound experience spiritually, but it was not.
Lee and I started the fast at 6:00 PM on Thursday evening, right after having carbo-loaded for the night. We rolled out of bed around 8:00 AM (Lee took the day off), and we just lounged around the house, abating any sense of hunger with lots and lots of water.
We drove into town to do some shopping, and it seemed the running around and staying busy kept us from focusing on the fast. When I did think about being hungry, I would try to focus on having a quick conversation with God. Still, Lee and I ran into an issue with our house, and in the scrambling to get the issue resolved, any resolute sense of intentionality went out the window.
To say I got Hangry is an understatement. I was short with my realtor. I was short with my wife. Every driver on the road immediately became my enemy. It got so heated in my head Lee told me to just stop and pray. Believe it or not, my initial instinct was to tell her no, but I knew it was just the enemy taking advantage of my being hungry to try and drive a wedge between me and Jesus.
We got home and I was hit with an avalanche of yawns. I think the Holy Spirit gave me a break in this fasting experience and blessed me with a two-hour nap. Following the nap, it was time to get ready and head over to CrossPointe for their Good Friday service.
The service started at 6:00 PM and I did not think I could extend my fast an extra hour, so we stopped at Starbucks on the way to church and got a couple of Venti drinks to have when service started. Perhaps it was a cheat, but it was a much-needed cheat. For the record, the first sip was taken at 6:01 PM.
But once the service started, I could feel the Holy Spirit take over. I’ve been to several services that I felt were just next level in terms of solemnity and focus on worship, and tonight’s celebration at CrossPointe was one of those services.
Without diving into all the detail, the service was profoundly moving for me. I found myself in tears, singing about as loud as I’ve ever sung before at any previous worship service. What had been a twenty-four hour period lacking real focus and intention culminated in a worship service that left me crushed in such a good way.
For me, this fasting experience was a reminder of humility. It was a day that pressed on my heart the biblical truth of Christ’s suffering for me. I felt hunger and I became angry. He felt whips and stones and punches and so much more, and all He did was forgive. He became love by dying. On Sunday, we’ll celebrate His becoming grace by rising from the dead.
I am not worthy of His love. None of us are. But we’re forgiven anyways because we place our faith in Him. That’s the gospel of Jesus, and it’s a knowledge we’re called to share with others. I am hungry to share that Good News as often as I can.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.” – John 11:25