Lent 2014 And Me!
Well since Jan 2014 my heart and mind was troubled with Lent and it felt like I really had to make a difference to my life this time. I have never really done anything for Lent before with any sort of conviction or kept to it.
For the few months before I could not shake the idea of "giving up food" for Lent... at times I had thoughts of giving up both food and liquids for sun up to sun down... but due to health issues and concerns from my wife due to health it was just decided to be just food.. Prayed about this and it felt even more right thing to do..
First thing I wanted to make sure of is that only those who needed to know knew about it. Why?
Matt 16“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show others they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 17But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, 18so that it will not be obvious to others that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
This by no means told me that I should not tell anyone at all.. but not to go around seeking praise for this for me.. This is not about me at all.. and I was/am fully aware of this!!
People I had to tell were my wife and my littlen as they were around me 24/7 and it was apparent to them for everyday reasons for meals and so forth...
So that's the behind it stuff sorted out..
I can honestly say it was not an easy time for me some of the time... It took some getting used to and Sundays were a nightmare!! Being able to eat and my mind and body screaming not to was confusing! Thursdays were the next hardest day which is the longest day for me due to work and travel..
What did I get from the Lord on this?
Well my life is in exciting times at the moment on where it will be lead to and what God wants me to do... I prayed almost everyday that I can remember (not sure if a quick Hi God, thanks and look after my family today) also counts.. if it does then it's everyday.. but sometimes prayer is just like that as its a personal conversation with my Father..
I had several affirmations of directional issues from God.. A gratitude for eating properly and being grateful for what I have, even at times it does not appear alot.. Thought of I am still getting food today when there are some out there who are not even getting this!
Strength in my believe in God even more from just simple little things He spoke to me on and "one liners".. Reading the Bible, praying with my wife and everyday life bought more and more to me..
I did have to tell other people that I was fasting during Lent which led to many interesting conversations with people of different religions and most with none at all.. I found a fellow person who I didn't realise what a Christian as well was fasting fully for sun up/sun down. Which was also encouraging at times I found things difficult. Speaking about it to everyone game me a chance to open up a little more about my Faith and plant seeds of thoughts in their minds.. I was not after any sort of "conversion" but just to be open and honest in why I am fasting, Jesus and the Bible in general.. The last day was probably one of the hardest and funniest.. We had a buffet and I was asked if I minded this.. Of course I said no because it really didn't! But I was told that I could have a doggie bag and take some for later on during the evening... I had it on my desk for most of my day and it was a huge temptation of the nice smells made me bang my head a few times and laugh about it all..
Temptation is easy when it's not infront of you is easy but when it's right in front of your eyes and you can just reach out and touch it, then it becomes a struggle. This is something we face every day and we need to realise this and not give in. Strength and encouraging one another is something we should practise on a daily basis.. Accountability for our actions with a brother or sister in Christ is a good practise to have.
I have been studying Swedish via online and apps since this was placed n my heart Oct 2013 and have been scraping whatever money I could get to save.. For what purpose I was not entirely sure... but towards the last week of Lent my wife and I sat down and we talked about several professional language learning packages. So I looked, asked questions and prayed on it. Found the one that I feel I was led to and opened my tin.. To my surprise I had enough to get it at the advertised price and they had an offer on as well.. So I thought I'd email them and explain why I was looking to purchase their software. I had an email back giving me a link to an offer to 50% off but only for this month! So I went and purchased it.. A blog on the Swedish side of my life will be written when the time comes..
This is just so much more I have rattling inside me on this but cant/unable to say, not for a negative reason but mostly because I can't find the words to get the message across in full..
So Lent for me has been a massive Spiritual improvement and the insight I had to Gods vision is mind blowing.. Whilst I do not see the full picture yet and may never will, I do see a stronger path to follow and must work towards it..
I do have to give alot of thanks to my wife who really stuck by me, gave me strength, focus and adjusted meal times on everyday so I had a cooked meal in the evenings.. A pure blessing from God!!
Like I said at the top of this blog.. I do NOT want any praise on what I did for Lent.. The praise should always go to God..
Peace and blessings