Fasting, Thirst and Living Water - by Coach Faith
I awoke from a dream this morning with a whisper in my head and heart answering a question I've been seeking about how to disseminate the many lessons from the fasting experience. I have embarked on shorter fasts, or different types of fasts in the past: Lemon water, liquid only, intermittent, 1-3 day, etc. This time, I wanted to embark on an ancient practice of extended water fasting. This is a fast of consuming nothing other than water for a long period of time.
We see many ancient traditions practicing fasting for many reasons, the most original being spiritual or cleansing.
I had two main goals when setting out to do this one this time not in order of importance. One was to seek physical healing of my organs, intestinal track, and hormones all of which I have attempted before with many various methods and results. The difference this time, however, was me seeking a deeper spiritual connection to God, to find some clarity and focus in my devotion and my hunger to understand His scriptures, to connect more deeply.
I plan to write and share more about the experience in detail through a series of posts, but wanted to start with the why and a simple summation of the largest takeaway I had after some time to sit with it.
There are countless physical benefits to fasting, enough for more than one post to cover for those interested. There are also very safe ways to begin and to complete a fast, which should be studied and prepared for before jumping in. I had my bloodwork completed after my fast, and the results were remarkable! I will share those as well later. Today I want to focus on the intangible results. On day five I was really beginning to feel the intense clarity that I had not in previous experiments, my level of focus and attention was widely increased. It has been a struggle for me in the past to really find or feel any sort of grounding through meditation or even in prayer, my attention was always divided regardless of my intention. With fasting I was able to spend more time, more attention and be more present and feel the presence of the Lord with me in the quiet of the mornings. I became more careful with all that I was doing, what I was saying, and how I was moving through the days. I was able to keep my attention on my study of the Word for longer periods and glean lessons and realities that had previously escaped me. It was actually really difficult for me after the 10th day to imagine breaking the fast, the state my heart and mind had come to was not something I really wanted to lose a grip of. Fortunately, loosening my grip on things period was one of the other fantastic lessons drawn out of this process.
Today I begin another extended fast, the length of which I am not sure. (I have done a few 24-72 hour ones since, and that will continue to be a regular practice I am sure.) After a few false starts, I focused on getting quality sleep and once again removed certain toxins and stimulants first (caffeine, sugars, meats, etc) to be able to begin another extended fast and I realized I needed to once again calibrate my 'why' for doing this. In the whispers of the dawn in between sleeping and waking it came to me : Fasting reminds us of what is important. Fasting is an intentional return to the desert, where the only thing that can save us, the only thing that is truly important and necessary is water. It reminds us that there is Living Water to save us from the desert of life. That is what I am coming back to connect more deeply with once again : my Living Water.