Yesterday, I broke my fast.
I went for my first run in a month.
I woke up Friday morning hungry. Famished. Longing for a run.
I waited three more days, letting the desire grow inside me. Until I could stand it no longer, driven out into the hot June sun by this need.
As I labored in the hot summer sun, I was reminded of how difficult it was for me to give up this sacred ritual. My prayer runs.
I had felt God calling me to invest this time in another activity for a short season.
Over this past month, as I listened to others talk of their physical activities, I imagined my muscles growing slack and wan, atrophying in their neglect. I felt my lungs grow weak, deprived of those deep, cavernous breaths that invaded every corpuscle and blood cell.
As I ventured out yesterday, I felt my muscles protest. My lungs gasp. Yet there was the joy of rediscovering this lonely journey. I noticed the trees blowing in the summer breeze. I smelled the smells of summer. Heard the cries of the robins, and, yes, even my Meadowlark.
In his amazing book, Your God is too Safe, Mark Buchanan speaks of fasting. He says, “Fasting makes me hungry for every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” And later, “Physical hunger is meant to deepen in us hunger for the Word of God and motivate us to get our own food.”
I gorged. See, the sacrifice was costly. I am now starting over again in my conditioning. Ah, but the joy of rediscovery was worth it.
What has God asked you to sacrifice?
I know that this exercise He has put me through was not in vain. I know He is calling me to sacrifice other things. Bigger things.
My family is considering becoming involved in a new church. Throughout this process, I have grieved the thought of leaving my current church family.
My heart keeps crying out, “But Lord, what about my Bible study? My friends? My kids?”
Lay them down.
Last night we went to our first church plant meeting for the new church we are becoming involved in.
It was lovely. But I have never felt so old in my life. There were between 40-50 people there. Only three were older than Jeff and me. There must have been 8 or nine infants. Three or four expectant mothers.
Fresh faces. Excitement. Discovery. Planning.
It was exhilarating. And scary as all get out.
My husband came alive.
The pastor read us the story of Abraham on Mt. Moriah. You know the story. God asked him to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac there. As they navigated the lonely mountain trail, Isaac (clever boy) looked up and asked his father, “…where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered his beloved, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”
And so He did.
After the angel of the Lord appeared to Abraham and commanded him not to “lay a hand” on his son, a ram was provided for the offering.
Abraham named the place, “The Lord Will Provide.”
You may recall that the name of God that signifies this quality is Jehovah Jirah.
I was comforted as we reflected on God’s provision as a group last night.
Then, we returned home.
And I read this post by my sweet friend Julie. She too spoke of Abraham’s sacrifice.
But in a different context. On a personal level.
Now, I can be a little slow, but I didn’t need a billboard to figure out God was telling me something through the story of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice.
You will recall that in the end, he did not have to sacrifice his beloved son at all.
I don’t know what God is calling our family to do, beyond this: Lay it down. Trust Him. And believe in His provision.
God will provide.
And there just may be a joy of rediscovery in the sacrifice.