Over the past 2-3 weeks, I have been experiencing hardships on my job and in my health. To sum everything up in a sentence or two: I found myself worn down and on the brink of burn out. It was like there wasn’t enough time to fit everything in my schedule and my health suffered because I didn’t take care of myself or because there wasn’t enough “time” to maximize the resources that could help me get stronger. I was drained mentally and physically.
As a Christian, I observe Lent. It takes place 40 days prior to Easter Sunday (aka Resurrection Sunday) and you usually fast and/or abstain from worldly sustenance in honor of the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness prior to becoming active in his earthly ministry. To be honest, most Christians observe lent because their pastor “makes them” or because it’s “just what you do as a Christian”. Those people TOTALLY miss the point. Much like Jesus pointed out while He was on earth, God doesn’t want us to do something JUST BECAUSE…He wants us to fast and pray to get closer to Him! When we are distracted by earthly things like television, social media or food (even though food IS good and is a basic need) it’s easy to find ourselves distant from our Creator.
Think about it. How easy is it to spend 1 or 2 hours straight checking Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Youtube? How hard is it for you to sit and read the Bible for 5 minutes without squirming or feeling like you’re missing out on something? How easy is it for you to binge that entire series you’ve been patiently waiting all year to drop? How hard is it for you to sit in a quiet room in silent prayer before you feel like you’re going to go mad? How easy is it for you to scour Pinterest ALL day long, daydreaming of the amazing dinner you have planned after work? How hard is it for you to do a quick topical search on your You Version Bible app or index search in your print Bible for scriptures on anxiety – which is something that haunts you daily?
Fasting for a certain period of time frees us up from those distractions and allows us to be stripped down to NOTHING and NO ONE but God. We don’t have comfort idols to pass the time or interrupt the silence. Fasting in the wilderness is part of why Jesus’ ministry was SO powerful. His mind was free to soak up ALL the wisdom and great ideas God had ready to download into His heart and mind. He was strengthened.
OKAY so back to my story.
The month of April was filled with numerous hardships BUT I can honestly say that participating in lent this year has made the difference. While I didn’t abstain from food (due to taking certain medications) I did make the decision from abstaining from secular television or worldly influences after a certain time. If that meant having nothing to do but sit in my room and stare at the wall – I did it. Fasting from outside influences put me “in a corner” where I had nothing to rely on but God and His Word. If I was spending time with my friends or family, I’d leave at a certain time or go off to myself to focus on God. Sometimes He would say nothing – I’d just sit there in silence or simply fall asleep. Other times He would encourage me and remind me that despite the hectic life I was experiencing He saw me and would give me the strength to make it through.
By the time Easter Sunday arrived (yesterday) I had experienced not one, but THREE miracles in a 40-day period! All three miracles saved me from a hospital stay and/or burnout. I know that miracles happen great and small but this is the first time in a LONG time that I can remember instant miracles like that. I KNOW it wasn’t by happenstance that these miracles took place when they did! I believe that God was showing me what awesome wonders come to light when we depend SOLELY on Him to meet our need. One of the miracles happened through medication and that’s something some people would have missed. GOD WORKS THROUGH DOCTORS. Visiting a doctor does not mean you lack faith, it means you possess wisdom and God-given common sense!
Sure I can find myself overwhelmed or worn down all throughout, but I truly believe that THIS time God has resurrected my physical and mental health to on purpose. He has honored my desire to grow closer to him by fasting and He has rewarded me by renewing my strength. Sometimes miracles don’t come through money or possessions but through the restoration of health and peace of mind.
I’m not really sure what the ‘moral’ of this post is, but I just had to testify and share the amazingness that has taken place in my life. I’m looking forward to more miracles, signs, and wonders in the NEAR future!
— Stay blessed,