Below are a collection of stories that people told in service following our Daniel Fast that ended on Sunday, February 2nd.
Initially, the Daniel Fast for me was a step of obedience. This last week was a particularly difficult week in many regards. Some of you may or may not have heard, but somebody who is part of The River Church family, Tim Clark, who is a dear friend of mine, passed away last weekend. He was a 36-year old dad of twin girls, Grace and Lily; their mom Laurie attends here with the girls. Tim was an active part of our men’s study on Thursday mornings. I received the news about Tim between services last Sunday and it was just by the grace of God that I was able to provide the message for the remaining service. Personally I wanted comfort food and I found my comfort in the Comforter. I wanted energy from caffeine, but instead I found my energy coming from the presence of the Holy Spirit. It became a challenge through the week for me because I have never done a funeral for a friend before which added in to the whole dynamic.
I am very grateful for how God provided just on a personal, professional level. I really didn’t even break down and weep until right when the funeral service was over. It was held in an auditorium at Tallawanda High School…500 people were there and I was off in the wings as everybody began singing “Ten Thousands Reasons”; just worshipping the Lord; the parents with their hands in the air worshipping God…just very powerful. And that was my moment to break down.
Tim’s parents, family and Laurie and the girls just felt undergirded by the prayer and support of so many people. But for me, in particular, it drove home a lot about the presence of God and His strength. But I just saw the strength of the Lord through that week by participating in the Fast. It was very powerful for me.
The Fast is about sacrificing and about declaring Jesus Christ as supreme and giving Jesus Christ control. And, at least for me anyway, it is saying that I am willing for things to be bland and I am willing for things to be black and white as far as my diet because I want God to be Technicolor in my life. It really is a sacrifice of saying, “Jesus Christ, I am not there yet but I am on my way and I want to set you as first and foremost in my life.
Many of you who know me know that I had been a youth pastor for 25 years, then for the last couple of years I have had to take a position as a fish monger in charge of the Kroger seafood shops… a real fun job, smelly like teenagers, but a lot different. Through the Fast, the first week I was like “why am I doing this? this is so hard” and going through the headaches and all the feelings. So I have been praying, “So God what do you have next for my life?” I’m not sure what that looks like and I cannot go into specifics right now, but yesterday morning I went for an interview and 30 minutes later I was offered a position with the Boys and Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty Township. I really can’t go into any of the details, but I was offered the position and so God answered prayer and it was kind of cool to go through that process…trying to find where God wants me next.
I was also touched by Tim Clark and going to his memorial service Friday night with a couple friends. Throughout the Fast I was touched by Tim and we read some from his journal that was out for people to read and being a Christian for quite a while, the goals that he had that he established in his journal, his purpose for 2014 was written “to rescue even one man from the misery of failure and help him reach his full potential” I was really touched by the way Tim yielded to Christ and it just gives me perspective to think on for myself.
January is always kind of a rough month for me and it has been my excuse the last two years not to do the Fast because I am always anxious and I thought the Fast would be just one more thing that I feel like I failed at or messed up at. So I have hesitated the last two years and this past year when I was praying about it God just put on my heart. He said, “Aimee, you’ve done all kinds of exercises in the military that didn’t make sense…do it. Just as an exercise, if nothing else.” So, I decided to do it. It just seemed like I heard Him a lot clearer throughout the whole month. We live in Middletown…I don’t know how familiar you are with Middletown, but we definitely live in a bad part of Middletown…so we have had a lot of thefts from our house and different areas. Throughout the last three weeks I was at the library and my iPad got stolen. It’s a thing, I know that, but who has the money to just go buy another iPad on the spur of the moment. It had a lot of stuff on it and I was upset about it. All of this happened within the span of about 10 minutes, but I prayed really hard, “God, I just don’t want to lose this right now”. I was frustrated by it and the librarian came up and she said they have the whole thing on video of him coming and taking it and walking off. They had the cops coming. And like I said in all of about 10 minutes of this happening, he had a conscious and he brought it back, which just doesn’t happen at all. I knew that was a total God thing and as I was thanking God for that, He just put on my heart that every time we have gotten robbed we thought “why are we in Middletown…we need to put the house on the market and get out of here. We’ve got two little kids”. And He just put on my heart that “I’ve got you where I want you; you are here for a purpose”. That gave me a peace this last month that I have never had before. To realize that we are where we need to be for a purpose, not just an accident. That was huge!
I just want to say that I haven’t seen answers to my prayers yet but this is my profession that they are coming.
I do not feel like I have received specific answers on some things yet, but it is obvious that God is working. He answers in His time not ours. Stay encouraged even if you don’t receive answers that are clear by the end of your fast. What I am learning about fasting is how much of a spiritual discipline it is. The key is obedience and doing it, period. I am praying for guidance and wisdom in knowing how to do it best in God’s eyes.