Friday, February 21, 2014

My daughter is fasting... what's the point?

My stomach is making me well aware that I have not eaten in about 13 hours. All I want to do is grab some food. My daughter hasn't eaten in about 15 hours. She went to school that way. This actually happens a lot to her. Breakfast becomes repulsive at times when she is nervous about upcoming events of the day. Today is different. Today she was supposed to eat a good breakfast before 6am in order to participate in World Vision's 30-hour Famine. She is not quite 12-years-old yet.

The Consent Form I had to sign states that "the average, healthy person is able to go without food for 30 hours without any ill effects. Exceptions include, but are not limited to, the following: children under the age of 12..." She is one of the first exceptions. As though I wasn't anxious enough about sending my oldest off to her first overnight youth activity... without food.

I chose to send her to school with a pear, some iceberg lettuce, ranch dressing and Gatorade. Her youth leader stressed the importance of drinking fluids. I stressed to him my concerns about her not yet being 12. He was not concerned but that didn't bring me calm. Many times my mind still pictures him at my daughter's age instead of the reality of the Godly young man he is now. When it is difficult for me to see the fact that other people's children grow up, maybe it shouldn't be such a shock that I'm having a difficult time accepting the fact about my own daughter.

So, yeah, I made excuses and my daughter will be participating in a modified fast.

Excuse #1: She's not 12 (a modified fast was suggested by World Vision for the exceptions they listed)
Excuse #2: She'd be fasting for more like 40+ hours instead of 30 because she didn't eat breakfast

Excuse #3: She has to get through the school day and accomplish the tasks expected of her

Excuse #4: It's a pear and lettuce...

Excuse #5: She's my oldest and I have a hard time letting go (that's just the real truth, I suppose)

The reason I haven't eaten breakfast this morning is because I want to know a bit of what she is feeling right now. I am hungry and want to eat. Honestly, I haven't been drinking the fluids like she was told to do. She isn't either. She hardly touched the Gatorade I gave her this morning and only has water available until lunch. Hopefully she'll remember to drink. I just got myself a cup of coffee (not the best fluid choice I'm sure but what I got anyway.)

Before my daughter, Nikelle, left for school today, her daddy instructed her on the purpose behind fasting. (Side note: I love that man!) He explained to her that the Bible instructs us to fast because the hunger we feel is supposed to turn our hearts and minds to God. We don't understand that concept in our world much today. Fasting is commonplace especially as we approach Easter but do we truly understand the purpose?

I hope the hunger I feel today will prompt me to pray... for her, for her youth group and for the starving children of the world. Will you join me? Have you ever chosen to fast? Do you utilize fasting for what God intended? Is there another reason?
"Then he turned to his host. “When you put on a luncheon or a banquet,” he said, “don’t invite your friends, brothers, relatives, and rich neighbors. For they will invite you back, and that will be your only reward. Instead, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. Then at the resurrection of the righteous, God will reward you for inviting those who could not repay you.” - Luke 14:12-14

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