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Reader offers thoughts on fasting

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By Jess Thompson

I wrote a column a few weeks ago questioning why I do not see American Christians fasting, or why it is not more a part of our culture.
I was blessed to get some rewarding feedback from one of my readers, “Pat,” and would like to share some of her experiences that I find inspiring.
These are her words, not mine, and I hope you may find it interesting and perhaps useful in your own spirituality, and perhaps adopt fasting as a part of your own walk with God.
“In my experience, there are different kinds of fasts and for different reasons,” Pat wrote.
“The first time I fasted, I was seeking God and decided to fast on my own. The only way I knew to fast was to do without food ... totally!
“I never lasted more than a day or so, but I did notice a difference in my walk with the Lord so it was worth the effort.
“It is amazing how much of our flesh is in control until we start to fast. Then it cries out — ack! Nothing like saying no to the flesh to be able to say yes to God.
“The first time I did a fast because God told me to was a fast for my pastor and his mission trip to Costa Rica. The Lord told me to fast “while he was gone.” That was 10 days, and I had never done that before.
“The first morning I got up and fixed some toast. The Lord said, ‘You are supposed to be fasting.’ I didn’t really want to, but I threw my toast in the trash. I decided to fix some tea with honey.
“I asked the Lord if honey broke a fast and I was reminded of the place in the Bible where honey was food, so I guessed it would break the fast and didn’t have that either.
That was the longest 10 days of my life. I will never forget them.
“I don’t know how much was accomplished during that 10 days but I was obedient. I have fasted a day here and there, but nothing like a total fast for 10 days.
“Our church has a fast most every year, usually in January. It is for 21 days but they don’t do a total fast.
“They do what they call a Daniel fast. We can eat only fruits and vegetables. You wouldn’t think that would be too hard to do but if you start it, your body will start to crave those things that you are not eating. Amazing how it does that!
“Those kinds of fasts are called corporate fasts because the whole church is doing them.”

Jess Thompson is a resident of Lawrenceburg. Reach him at jessinlawrenceburg@gmail.com.