As I entered what was going to be my 5th consecutive month of “monthly fasting”, I knew it was going to be the most meaningful one yet. Instead of being nervous that it was going to be my LONGEST one to date (that’s right, a full 12 hours), I had excitement inside of me. I was excited to spend the day in heightened reflection and extra prayer.
I honestly never thought I would actually be excited to fast. But boy was I overcome with joy for such an emotion! Why was I so excited? Because it came during a time where I found myself stopping to pray throughout my day more than I ever have. I believe God was planning and preparing me the last five months to be able to handle this fast during what is already such a challenging time; the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are in a time of confusion, frustration, and an overwhelming sense of the “unknown.” Personally, I have found this time to be so nourishing to my relationship with God. The type of nourishment I will never find from food. These past few weeks have been screaming the truth “GOD WILL PROVIDE.” For me, He has provided me with two major things: Gratitude and Prayer.
Every time I encounter something I am grateful for, I am faced with a prayer for those who are suffering. For example, I am beyond grateful I can continue to work during the pandemic. I think of this truth multiple times a day and immediately follow it up with a prayer for those who are currently out of work or the stability of their job is unknown at this time. I am also beyond grateful for my health. But immediately, I turn to God to keep those who are on the front lines in the medical field safe from contagion, along with the safety for all those affected during this time.
This is the exact pattern that occurs when I fast. Each moment that I feel hunger becomes a moment of gratitude and prayer. Gratitude that I know where my next meal will come from and prayer for those who do not know the next time they will eat. I have also been faced with this while seeing empty shelves at the grocery stores during the pandemic. I reflect in gratitude for everything God has provided me; the food on my plate and the roof over my head. Again, this is immediately followed by a prayer for all those who are lacking in resources and who do not have a place to rest.
I want to leave you with two truths. In times like this we may think “I am not going to make it through.” But I challenge you to stop and remind yourself of the beautiful truth that GOD WILL PROVIDE. He has been providing for us every day, through every challenge, and He will continue to do so. Another beautiful truth, that comes to light during fasting, is that THIS IS TEMPORARY. The sun will eventually set and the hunger, that I thought was going to last forever, was in fact temporary.
This pandemic is temporary. Our isolation is temporary. But God’s love endures forever and if you ask me, He has strengthened our love for one another during this time. I cannot wait for the day we can all celebrate these truths and rejoice, together.