Day 218: Mid-Night Musings

Day 15 of my hard-core Daniel Fast.

It’s 4:45am and I’ve been up for about an hour with a cough. My husband, toddler, and I all have it. Not sure how the five-year old skipped it, although if Murphy’s Law proves true, he’ll get it just in time for school! Ha!

Anyway, I’ve had this cough for about a week now. Most days it’s just been annoying but yesterday and through the night I have actually felt sick. I went to bed, well, on time last night… but when my boy woke up at 3:30 I could not go back to sleep because of this tickle-itch in the back of my throat. Of course, I came out of the bedroom and am now lounging on the couch hoping that sleep will find me again.

I should have known I’d get sick once I started a fast… poor ol’ Satan. He needs a new bag of tricks… doesn’t he know that he’s already done this to me… twice?!?!

Anyway, one of the big things on this hard-core Daniel Fast is that I decided not to drink anything other than water. But yesterday, I literally was at my wits end with this cough. Meds weren’t working. Cough drops were having zero effect. My husband suggested that I have a cup of hot tea. I was on the verge of giving in and just having a cup of hot tea in the mindset that it was medicinal, but then he suggested that I have some hot lemon water with honey. My reaction was one of disgust, even though I knew that it would help me, and so then when I thought about my options, I was like “well… a cup of hot tea would be nice and it wouldn’t be much of obedience to Him, but a cup of lemon water… ewwwwwww. Yes, even with honey… ewwwwww… it’ll be like a sacrificial obedience.” So I figured that it was safe to view the lemon water as medicinal instead of a cup of tea.

And wow, did it help.

And wow,  was I glad that I avoided the tea and went with more of a sacrifice… went with obedience.

And it wasn’t like a legalism kind of thing… I really wanted to please God by not giving in easily to something that would break my fast agreement with Him. It kind of reminds me of this conversation:

What is more pleasing to the Lord: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22

And in a way, I felt like it was obedience… trying to obey Him. That is what pleased Him. And that is my goal.

Day Fifty-Six: Almost Autopilot

Yesterday I took my boys out to my in-laws house out in the country for the day. It’s so revitalizing for each of us and they get in some great grandfather time!

And while we were there he baked some of his famous honey wheat bread. No problem, I have built up a pretty decent resistance. Well, actually I ate the little square he gave me to taste cause he was so proud of it (and it certainly was goooooood). At the end of the day he offered to send the second loaf home with us. I knew that the boys would enjoy it so I accepted.

What I didn’t expect was to feel that old temptation pull.

I kind of had a few thoughts about that:

1) Feeling temptation fighting in me is actually kind of a nice feeling… because of that one word: fighting. I think for so long before the covenant there were very few times where I even attempted to “fight”. I was just giving in all the time. Probably because I knew that I would lose all the time. But now, I am not afraid to fight, because I know that I’m going to win.

2) The feeling of temptation sorta “sticks out”. Like instead of it being a subliminal feeling or one that is subconsciously ignored, I feel it. And I had mixed emotions about feeling it- like, part of me was like, “Whoa- temptation. It’s been a while.” And that was a nice feeling- that my life is having to endure temptation less and less in the area of food. But at the same time there was a bit of panic. Like, “Oh no. I know that feeling. And what if I give in?”

3) How do I fight this? How do I win? I guess I kept thinking of what happened when I wrote Obedience Is Bliss. Although that night was weird. It was like the old me kicked in out of nowhere. I was almost… reveling in the temptation. That night the thought of that food was simply too entrancing. But I also think I set myself up that night. I welcomed sin into my house. I baked that apple crisp knowing that it would be wrong. I sinned way before I ever even took a bite of food.

So last night with the bread, it was like an “out of nowhere” temptation. And it was almost like there were three steps I need to expect for the future.

1) I felt the temptation coming on.
2) I called it what it was- I recognized it and said to myself, “I am totally being tempted right now.”
3) I looked at the bread and said “No I won’t. I’m doing this for Jesus.”

That was a lot of thinking smushed down into three easy steps. But it wasn’t that easy. It didn’t last long but the little battle of thoughts was raging. It all happened so quickly too.

All I can say is that after fifty-six days I think I’m seeing more and more instances of my mind having been renewed some. There is a lot more refining to go, but it’s almost like my brain is on autopilot now. I still need to look out for “storms” but I’m seeing that my mind is resisting some on its own.

Pretty cool!