Thursday, May 17, 2007

rotten flesh stinks

I've typed and deleted this post several times. It's been several days since I posted, and while I love blogging (both reading and writing aspects), I've been avoiding mine because I didn't feel like I had much good to say, and don't want to be a public whiner. At the same time, however, I just read a blog of a pastor who talked about being real about who he is and the struggles he goes through, and how many people have been encouraged by that. He talked about the need to tear down the mindset of church leaders on pedestals. While I don't think I'm on a pedestal for anyone, I do think there is something to be said about not stirring up complaining or dissension. (I just have been being hit hard by the story of the Israelites in Numbers 12-14 and how harshly God dealt with complaining and the spies that spread the bad report). So I've just been quietly trying to deal with my inner 'angst'. Today I've decided that there might be some 'middle ground' where I can share bits of my struggle without being a stumbling block for others.

First of all, we're in the middle of a corporate fast at Koinonia House. I freely admit that I do NOT enjoy fasting, and am really not good at it. There, I've said it. This week, my resolve has not been strong; I find myself playing mind games about what I will 'allow' myself...what's 'cheating', what's not... OH PLEASE!! This is a fast, not a game of some kind where I earn points with God if I'm able to 'hold out' and lose points if I 'cave'. The point is to heighten my spiritual senses, so to speak, to better discern what God is doing and saying, and how I can better follow Him. In the beginning of the week, Todd & I would have discussions about whether or not we felt God saying anything; did we have any direction, revelation... Each time my response was the same. NOTHING. Nada. Until last night, in the midst of a small fit of anger, I realized "Wait a minute!! THIS is what God's doing! He's exposing all my ugly, fleshly junk that I occasionally think is gone (or at least effectively under wraps)." Well, THAT'S no fun!! If I'm going to fast, I want answers, direction, miracles! You know, some nice, 'spiritual experience' that makes me feel warm and fuzzy!! Nope...not gonna happen. God's doing some deep digging this time, and I am NOT enjoying it. But it does help to know that something is going on...even if it's not the 'something' I'd like it to be!!

Don't you hate when you get all excited about what God's doing, and then everything seems to get worse?!?!?


Zoanna said...

Sorry, but I am laughing rather heartily, Jessi. I can so empathize, though it's been years since I fasted. The Lord has actually been nudging me that direction again because the topic seems to come "out of the blue." I'm not sure what I'm to fast abohe exactly. I remember coming home from a picnic once and the Lord very clearly told me to fast for 4 days. Surely that's not the Lord, I reasoned. But He gently stayed on my case. I fasted and hoped for some lighting bolt experience. NOpe, just hunger. The first day was miserable, the second better, the third fine, the fourth great (till the last six hours, when I wanted to "cheat." heehee. What I discovered was just how much my life revolves around me, starting first thing in the morning with breakfast, followed not much after that by "what's for lunch?" and pretty soon wanting answers to the dinner question. I hadn't given God much thought, hadn't hungered for Him, hadn't wanted His word to be my food first thing, etc. So maybe it wasn't a lightning bolt as much as a mirror stuck in my spiritual face. What do you see when you look in a mirror? Yourself. It was the beginning of wanting to seek His face early in the morning, to feed on His word before opening the fridge. Now if He calls me to a 4-day coffee fast, I'm in big trouble .

jessi said...

So true, so true. As for the coffee fast - one girl from our church IS fasting coffee - all week - and SHE WORKS AT STARBUCKS!!! (Actually, I think technically she's fasting caffeine.) On Tues when I talked to her she was telling us how miserable she had been, headaches and all... I guess we all have these addictions we don't realize...until suddenly we can't have a fix...