Fasting — How God Fixed My Hunger

Testimony #12
Last Saturday, I went to a friend's wedding. I wasn't 100% sure how I felt about attending a wedding on the Sabbath, but because I knew these two believers well, I knew that their wedding would give praise to God and the reception would not be laced with vulgar music. Plus I agreed to go before I really had any idea of what keeping the Sabbath holy meant, and the same Bible that tells us to keep the Sabbath holy tells us not to break oaths (or promises in this case). So I went. I'm happy I went, but during that day one thing I didn't expect occurred.

When I got to the church at 10:30am, having had only a banana for breakfast (I'd gotten up early to travel so breakfast wasn't really an option), I realized it would be close to 5 before I would be able to eat. Out of my usual Sabbath routine, I forgot it was the Sabbath. Not only did I forget it was the Sabbath, I went to Bojangles and bought an egg and cheese biscuit (see Nehemiah 10:31 if you're confused). As I drove up to the window, realizing my mistake but feeling it too late to turn back, I became upset. It would have been one thing if I'd remembered after I'd eaten the biscuit, but I remembered before I ate it. So, by the time I handed the cashier money and accepted the biscuit, I was willfully disobeying God.

Photocredit: Boesch
What could I say to God about that? There really wasn't anything to be said, He already knows everything. I assume He knows that I have a problem with food. I love food, and the idea of being hungry is depressing to me. When I get hungry everything stops. I can't function if I'm hungry... Which would make sense if I meant the type of hunger 1/4 of the world's population suffers, but I don't. I mean I had grits and eggs at 9am, it's now 11:30 and I'm hungry. Or I just ate a footlong sub 2 hours ago and now I'm hungry. Basically, I just want food. In that moment, I still didn't realize how much I—dare I say it—worshipped food, but I had an inkling that food was at the root of a problem. So I told God I would fast for the rest of the Sabbaths in the month of April. I said "God, my stomach caused me to turn against your Sabbath so for the next month of Sabbaths I will turn against my stomach."

Almost a full 24 hours into the first Sabbath, I can't believe I survived. I thought I would give up before I even went to bed last night. The thought crossed my mind again as I fed my cat this morning. Around 4pm I started planning what I would cook when the Sabbath ended. By 6pm I realized my problem. 7.3 billion people are malnourished due to scarcity or lack of food. That's 1 in 9 people.[1] They are hungry. Not the type of hungry I complain about when I leave work early. Not the type of hungry I thought I was 2 hours ago (I know that there is a fridge full of food waiting on me for when the sun goes down). These people are actually hungry, they are starving. So, by 6:30pm I was in tears. How could I be so self-centered to spend the day worried about my stomach and never stop to think about all those people? Sure when I bless my food I ask God to provide for them, but I don't really stop to think of them...

I think God brought me to this point for multiple reasons. 1) He doesn't want me to worship food. If you follow the blog, you know that during the exodus, the Israelites were quick to complain about God's manna. They wanted something fancier. I imagine this being a scenario like God providing me with grits every day and I ask for steak. I don't want to be like that, I want to be able to survive on God's manna. 2) Empty prayers are not worth praying. I once said I wanted to do more volunteering, but I got bogged into school and doing my own thing. What good is praying for hungry people if I'm not out doing something? God reminded me to follow threw with that volunteer idea; I will be volunteering at the local soup kitchen next week. 3) Be careful what you promise. While I'm thrilled God has taken this opportunity to show me something about myself and make me a better person, I also regret making that promise. It was not easy to get through the Sabbath without eating; I wish I'd at least left myself the ability to drink some juice... We often make promised we cannot or should not keep, especially in desperate situations. Now I plan to follow through with my promise to God, but I do wish I'd thought it out a little more.


[1] "2015 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics". World Hunger Education Service. 2015

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