I am Betty White.
Well, not the real Betty White- that would be awesome- but the angry Betty White that people turn into when they get hungry and need a snack. They stop being awesome and get angry.
They are Hangry.
Hangry: A state of being when your hunger collides with your raw emotions, creating a vortex of bad decisions and short reactions to those you love. (Lord forgive them for they know not what they do. Bestow upon them thy Holy Snickers bar.)
One early morning I stumbled thru the kitchen to the cabinet overflowing with coffee cups. I grabbed the handle closest to me and plopped the cup in the nestle of my Keurig. I was ready to pour that delicious hot liquid into my cup when…
There was a pause in my spirit; a check in my heart.
“Don’t do it.”
Really, God? Today? No coffee?
I knew this typically meant He wanted me to “fast” from food for the day.
What is fasting, anyway? Why make ourselves “starve” for God? It didn’t make much sense to me either, until I researched more. “Fasting” is a way of connecting with God on another level by denying personal wants and needs. Can I be completely transparent here? Fasting makes me want to stomp my feet and throw a fit! It’s not fair! No coffee. Like at 5 a.m., NO. COFFEE. And no food all day long…
In my home, that is like taking the terror threat level from orange to red.
Warning: Severe risk of a woman losing her cool.
Instead of punching a hole in the wall of my adorable coffee bar that morning, I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and turned off the coffee pot. I actually turned it OFF. The strength it took to fight my own will was a little ridiculous. Ok, A LOT ridiculous. But self-denial is never easy. It is something we, as Christ-followers, should be doing constantly! Fasting means waking up every morning and asking God, “What would YOU like today? How can I best serve YOU?”
Coffee is only the beginning. Sometimes fasting isn’t only giving up coffee; it can be sacrificing food, sleep, a hobby that tends to control you (ahem, Pinterest), even your dreams for the future. God wants nothing to stand in the way of His will for you. Fasting helps do just that, moving You out of the way for Him. It is a holy transfer of authority and you no longer get to be in charge.
To serve Christ joyfully, we must move our eyes from our groans to our gains.
I spent years as a waitress and loved every minute of it. My job gave me insight into people and how to serve them well. Rule numero uno in the restaurant business? The customers’ needs always come first, no matter how ridiculous the request. Switch from a table to a booth? “My pleasure!” I say, in the classic Chick-fil-a style. Extra ranch? “Sure thing!” Little Johnny wants cherries on his sundae, even though he spent the whole meal screaming and throwing food? “I’m on it!”
Here is the secret: I was successful at waiting tables because I understood my role and I took joy in it. No one would have blamed me for dumping that whole sundae on little Johnny’s head and shouting “PEACE OUT!” as I dramatically backed out of the restaurant, deuces raised in triumph. But that wasn’t my job. I wasn’t hired so I could throw a fit when things didn’t go my way. My job was to respond to the desires of those I served, no matter how unfair it may have felt.
I was created to serve the desires of God, even when it feels unfair.
Fasting is about discovering HIS agenda, not demanding my own.
Laying down my own “needs” I try and focus on joyfully serving God as I am the waitress in our relationship. I sit with great expectation of the ways I can offer my service for His glory. When I fast I am simply adjusting my sails to head towards the course He has set. Even through all the sacrifice, He never leaves us hanging-
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
1 John 5:14
I do not fast to invoke my own needs, but rather to align my heart with the will of God. Fasting reminds me that I am not in charge. Fasting gives me breakthrough in difficult situations. Fasting, paired with prayer, petitions the heart of God more than my prayers alone. Fasting excites my heart to see what God has in store because I know His plan for me is the BEST plan.
If you have never fasted, do some research on the topic! Pop open your Bible and see what God says about trading food for freedom. Try it out. Ask all the questions. Don’t press that brew button quite so fast next time.
If you are like me and easily become Hangry, let that go too, expecting nothing less than miracles on the days you fast.