So we fasted and earnestly prayed that our God would take care of us, and he heard our prayer. Ezra 8:23
This is the account of Ashley’s fast:
As I began my fast on September 23, 2013 I truly had no idea what was in store for me.
My original intent was to STAND and support my daughter, Courtney, in a fast from her iPhone in seeking an answer to a question. I decided to begin to fast with her the night before.
She was fasting from her iPhone and my original fast was from Facebook.
I’m sure it doesn’t seem to be much for anyone else, but for me it was a big deal. For you see, I check Facebook all hours of the day and night and scroll for long periods of time. I would wake up in the middle of the night and immediately tap my Facebook app. So beginning Sunday night, my daughter and I prayed and from that point on, she put her phone away and I abstained from Facebook.
After I dropped her off Monday morning in Lufkin, I began feeling convicted that abstaining from Facebook wasn’t enough. At that point, I decided to give up something even more dear to me, sweet tea.
For those that know me, realize what a sacrifice it is for me to not drink sweet tea. It is nothing for me to stop on my way to work in the mornings and get a Route 44 sweet tea nearly every morning.
I also began making a pitcher of tea every day in my classroom. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t drink a pitcher of tea by myself, I began sharing it with other teachers.
Monday morning, I get to school and try to decide whether to still make the tea or just make it easy on myself and just tell the teachers I didn’t make any tea for the day.
Deep inside, I was hoping Courtney could get her answer quickly because I was craving my tea. I knew I had to make the tea for the teachers plus I was doing a science lesson on solutions and had put in lesson plans to use the tea demonstration for the example of a solution.
I made the tea in my classroom as I had been doing for the last couple of weeks.
As you can tell, this was not your typical out of sight, out of mind fast. I had to look at that pitcher of tea all day long. I made sure and reminded teachers to come and pour a glass of tea. It was very difficult to see that pitcher of tea and not pour my own glass.
I was reading my Bible and praying more and even texting my pastor more than normal. It would have been easy for me to make a glass of tea and drink what I was craving and no one would know any better.
Wrong! I would know and more importantly God would know.
By the end of the school day, there was still about a 1/4 of a pitcher of tea left. Why, oh why hadn’t the tea been drunk? Every day prior to this one, the tea had always been consumed by the end of the school day, but not this day.
Oh yeah, it’s because I wasn’t helping to drink it throughout the day. You can probably guess what’s coming up next.
That’s right, I had to pour the rest of the tea down the bathroom sink.
By the time I get home, I am so sleepy I can barely hold my head up. I decided to take a nap before Robert and Courtney got home. Little did I know what was in store next.
I crashed. I barely remember them getting home and was back out again. I slept hard for the next 3 hours. I awoke sometime after 8pm with Courtney standing between me and my bedroom doorway.
It was a very beautiful sight.
My bedroom light was out, but there was a light glowing over her like a halo and she had her Bible opened up in her hands. She was telling me she had discovered a verse as an answer to her question.
It was an amazing time as she had realized that we could end the fast. A little while later, I re-downloaded my Facebook app and was scrolling through Facebook once again; however, it wasn’t like before.
I wasn’t on there very long when I closed the app and opened up my Bible app.
I could feel a change taking place within me. I wanted to get a glass of tea but something was still holding me back. It was as if God were speaking to me- “not so fast!”
Ashley continued to fast for another week or so. She also found peace and an understanding of God’s direction for her life.
The prophet Joel revealed this to the people of his time – Dress yourselves in burlap and weep, you priests! Wail, you who serve before the altar! Come, spend the night in burlap, you ministers of my God.
For there is no grain or wine to offer at the Temple of your God.
Announce a time of fasting; Joel 1:13-14
It seems to me the offering had dried up – there was nothing left to offer.
It is somewhat like you may be feeling. You’re all dried up inside and there is nothing left to offer to God. You feel empty.
Perhaps it is time to declare a fast and allow the Lord to fill you up!