Monday, April 11, 2011
30 Hour Famine
I got the pleasure to spend this weekend with some amazing young ladies and men as we participated in World Visions 30 hour famine. We met on Friday after school and spent until Saturday evening together. We studied God's Word together, we prayed together, we played games together, we watched movies together and we didn't eat together for 30 hours. I have never fasted corporately, and it was an amazing time.
One of the neat things about the weekend is that I was able to spend that time with my daughter Amanda who was one of the teens that participated. I am so thankful God blessed me her - and for the time that we had together this weekend. I'm so proud of the young lady that she is growing up to be.
I also amazed at the other teens that were there and am so blessed by the way they are chasing after God's heart and have such a desire to learn about what God wants them to do in this life. Each of them have such compassion for others. I have so much to learn from each of the teens that were there. I'm also blessed by the young men who lead the event and the other female chaperone that I got to hang out with. The body of Christ is an awesome thing!
One of the things that we did this weekend was cover the time in prayer. Each hour someone was set aside to go in our "prayer room" and pray. Some of the girls went in as a group and sometimes they went alone. One of the things that God spoke to me about during that time was about discipline and temptations. Some of the verses that the Lord lead me to were in Hebrews. I was reminded that God disciplines us because He loves us so much and that I need to keep myself disciplined. I need to make the choice to be disciplined - looking to the Lord for strength. God also reminded me that Jesus himself was tempted - He set the example for us. I've always looked at temptation as a negative thing. I'm learning that, although it is not a fun thing, it is a way that I can draw closer to the Lord if I choose to lean on Him to withstand the temptation.
As we were fasting and looking to the Lord to sustain us we had a "service project" planned. Saturday afternoon, about 26 hours into our fast, we served a meal to a large group of ladies. This was a very interesting time for me, and I think for each of us there. We served what we called "cake salad" (a beautiful sandwich layered with egg salad, bread, tuna salad, bread, turkey salad, bread and frosted with a garlic cream cheese), a fruit kabob that had some large red strawberries, pineapple, and delicious looking melons on it, and a dainty little sugar cookie to this group of ladies that were having a "tea" fundraiser for a women's shelter in our town. What I realized, is that while we were with just 'our group' in our building together all doing the same thing (not eating) I really was not hungry. When I got out into the world and we joined together with a group of people that were eating - and we were serving them - I was hungry! I had to make the choice not to eat as we were offered beautiful, red, luscious strawberries and as many around me were eating them. I felt hunger pains. I know that God used that time to get my attention. It is easy for me to do the "right" thing as I am with a group of people that are "in it together." But, as I leave the confines of that company and enter the "world" temptations really do come. I need to be able to do the "right thing" especially in the world that is watching.
To 'break the fast' we served each other communion and then joined in a yummy meal - Ground Nut Stew and homemade whole wheat bread. And, as I experienced the 30 hour famine, I could only begin to understand what being hungry feels like. I knew where my next meal was coming from. I pray for those in this world that are hungry and do not know where their next meal is coming from. I can't image what it is like to look at my children and know they are starving and not know how I will nourish them. I can not image what it is like to to have leave my child in an orphanage because I can not feed them. It is my prayer that God will continue to open my eyes to see what He wants me to do and that He will continue to open the eyes of many as they experience the 30 hour famine event.