Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pass the broccoli, please!

We are on the 15th day of a 21 day Daniel fast.  I have learned how much I really like food.  I was hesitant to fast from food because I believed I didn’t have a problem with it and that I only “ate to live”.  On the 2nd day I realized how difficult this would really be.  I focused a lot on the things I was missing.  I miss chocolate, brownies, chips, milk, and basically anything with flavor.  I do not like plain steamed vegetables.  I only like vegetables with butter, salt, or cheese.  A few days ago, I lamented to Brian how much I dislike any food on our “fasting plan."  We are not having salt, seasonings, or sugar.  Food is disgusting.  I told Brian I would rather eat nothing at all than eat any more of this plain mush.

Life lesson:  Salt is desirable

During my venting session, I felt the Holy Spirit ministering to me, saying, “The world doesn’t like it either.”  I came to see the truth of the words of Jesus when he says, “You are the salt of the earth.  But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor?  Can you make it useful again?  It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”  (Matt. 5:13)
That is exactly how I feel about plain, steamed broccoli.  It should be thrown out.  I would rather eat nothing at all.  Can this be how the lost see the modern day church and its complacent, self-serving members?   Have we lost our salt?  Are we giving flavor to a bland world, or are we too similar to be noticed?  I have learned by experience how undesirable food is without salt to flavor it.  I believe the church has become undesirable because we have lost our flavor.  There is not a marked, observable difference between the life we live and those who are lost.  We seek pleasure.  We want to feel good all the time.  But is that what Christ intended?  Read and consider the words of Peter, “The suffering is all part of what God has called you to.  Christ, who suffered for you, is your example.  Follow in his steps.”  (I Peter 2:21)  I must admit suffering has never been high on my list of life goals.  However, this time of fasting has been some of the most profitable days of my life.  Perhaps that is why Paul says, “We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope.”  (Romans 5:3,4).  Suffering leads to HOPE!  Hope gives flavor to life, without hope life is dull and bland.  What a great lesson to ponder!  I want to learn to embrace suffering as part of His plan for me, because it will add flavor to my life and the lives of others.  Bring on the bland, broccoli…my “suffering” has a new meaning! 

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