For Lent this year I decided to go on a water fast, giving up all beverages except for water. I knew this would be cleansing not only for my body but also for my spirit. You see water is difficult for me. I don't really like to drink it much, I much rather prefer juice, tea, sport drinks or my diet sodas. The only time I like to drink water is when I have to take medicine, or if I am dying of thirst from exhaustion or it being hot. I can't even drink water in the mornings, cause it makes me feel like I have to gag. So why did I go on a water fast again?
Well fasting during Lent is one way to test ourselves. When Jesus spent 40 days in the desert He was tested. And He defeated the testing of Satan while He was there. But Jesus was tested for our sake, because He had no battles with illusions, illusions of what He understood of the Father, illusions of the plan for His life and the will of God the Father - He was simply following the will of His Father. But we have these illusions. The desert experience is about deprivation. And in doing this water fast I am having my own desert experience. When I think about all the millions of less fortunate around the world, they involuntarily only drink water - dirty, unfiltered water. Because they have no choice and no luxury of drinking anything else. Here in America, the land of opportunity, we strive to make it and not be deprived or have our children be deprived because we see it as a great evil. Because most feel when you are deprived, you've lost any power over your life. It's good to be reminded with a desert experience that we aren't all-powerful, only our almighty and merciful God is.
I will admit, I enjoy the pleasures of being able to go out to a restaurant or the grocery store and fulfill a craving my belly may ache for. But sometimes when we fulfill these wants and pleasures, it only covers up some issues/demons I may be battling with. So with this water fast, when I'm craving my morning tea or juice or my diet soda with a meal later in the day I turn to God for strength to get past the craving. It truly has made me focus on God more times throughout the day then I had before. It's created more time that I have taken to talk to Him about my gratefulness, my sorrow, my troubles, my happiness, my thankfulness, my humbling moments, my disorderedness, and my illusions. One week into this fast. And I think I've got about 6 more weeks to go. I look forward to how much closer this fast will bring me to Him.
On the not so serious side of this water fast topic... I'll be honest and let you know I had no idea of the uncomfortable side affects it might have. Lets just say on the benefit of water fasting tip list, my body is experiencing the "It restores your body balance by eliminating wastes." big time and it is not very comfortable. Here are a few other benefiting tips about water fasting that I found interesting:
- It cleanses your respiratory, circulatory, digestive and urinary systems, destroying impurities all over the body and eliminates uric acid deposits. (this is great since I am just recovering from pneumonia)
- People detoxify and heal more quickly with water fast than with any other fast. This is because with water fasting, your digestive passageway and organs are able to rest completely, allowing for all of your energy to be used for cleansing and repair of damaged tissues. (yup something is definitely going on with my digestive passageway)
- It increases your life span. (I like this one!)
- It helps you in weight loss. (I like this one too! And wouldn't mind help in this department!)
- It quiets allergic reactions, including asthma and hay fever. (Interesting, I wonder if it will quiet my allergic reactions to ant bites - that would be a blessing!)
- Going on water fast gives you the motivation and enthusiasm to make a fresh start and commit yourself to a new and better way of life. (Amen to this!)