#3 – #FastFail
Once, I decided to fast Cherry Coke.
To be frank, this decision toed the line between treachery and madness.
Because I needed that Cherry Coke. (Yes, I sound like a drug addict, but hear me out).
I had three tiny children at home, and each morning at 6am I would pound three Aspirin, five Ibuprofen, and an XL Cherry Coke to kick off the day after having been up all night with a screaming baby and a barking dog. (It was like a nightly, demented game of ‘Which came first, the chicken or the egg?’ Who would wake up who first–the baby or the dog?!?)
If there was any hope of making it through the day, I needed that Cherry Coke.
So, when our church decided to do a corporate fast, my favorite sugary soda-friend was the glaring target for fleshly elimination.
However, by the time 5pm rolled around the first day of the fast, I threw the baby in my unsuspecting husband’s face, yelled something about divorcing him if he ever took that long to get home again, sprinted barefoot to the car, floored it all the way to Sonic, and manically pushed the red button until some poor teenager nervously served up my Route 44 Cherry Coke.
Truly the picture of servanthood and martyrdom.
Let’s be honest, sacrifice isn’t pretty. It’s not usually very comfortable or convenient, either. In fact, in some cases (okay, mine), things can get downright ugly.
So, why would we deliberately put ourselves through the ringer? How is sacrifice possibly helpful?
Because God knew there is something beautiful that comes of out testing. There is something amazing produced inside you during trying situations. I can reason away my first-world, soda-deprivation problems as shallow and flippant, but truth be told, that was a really difficult season in my life, and God just wanted me to learn to rely on Him for strength, not the makers of Coca-Cola.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confidence hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment…” – Romans 5:3-5
If you’re feeling the crunch of sacrifice, feel free to pray this prayer…
Dear God, please forgive me for making it all about me. Help me to see the bigger picture and see myself through the eyes of eternity. I know you’re producing in me an unshakable faith, and for that, I am grateful. Give me Your grace to make it through. Amen.