I am such a wuss! I try to fast on Wednesdays in Lent, to help me gain a little more appreciation for what Jesus did for me by coming to the earth and going to Calvary. Yet I struggle with this simple little action - while being reminded each year how boldly and strongly he never wavered in his passion. I am such a wuss!
Our fasting is pretty simple: We eat dinner on Tuesday night, and then have nothing else to eat (with the exception of our morning juice, vitamins, coffee and water) for the next 24 hours. Supposedly this creates additional time for meditation and prayer, and the setting for a greater appreciation of Christ. Generally, however, my thoughts for the last five or so hours of the fast are more focused upon what and where to eat than anything else. Somehow I do not think it is something like this that the Bible has in mind when it says, "Jesus ... who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross." (Hebrews 12.2)
Yet, in spite of the depravity of my thoughts and efforts, Jesus still loves me.
I think of the words Jesus spoke shortly before his passion. "Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends." (John 15.13-14) In other words, his thoughts were not like mine - focused upon the moment I would break the fast. Jesus is all about fast-breaking toward me with his love - and doing it even more effectively than any Izzo-coached Spartan ever has!
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11.33-36)
For some reason (I know what it is), when I am fasting, and when I am breaking the fast, ... and, for that matter, during all the times in-between ... my thoughts keep returning to me ... my wants, my desires, my "needs." I am such a selfish wuss! Yet my Lord (and your Lord) continually declares, "I know the plans I have for you, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me ... I will be found by you." (Jeremiah 29.11-14)
I will let you think about the plans he has for you while I finish my breakfast bowl of ... you guessed it, Cream of Wheat!