Sunday, August 5, 2012

Is this not the Fast I have Chosen?

This is a quote from the book of Isaiah. I love the description of the proper law of the fast in this chapter. Isaiah describes the true law of the fast and the many wonderful blessings we can receive from proper fasting, such as,
  • "thy light break forth as the morning"
  • "thine health spring forth speedily"
  • "thy righteousness go before thee"
  • "the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward"
  • "thou shalt call, and the Lord shall answer"
  •  "the Lord shall guide thee continually"
Isaiah Chapter 58
I guess I'm re-studying and writing this post today because fasting is hard for me. I feel weak, head-achy and quite frankly cranky. I loved it when I was pregnant and nursing my babies because I had a terrific excuse not to fast.  Not so much these days. But when I read the wonderful blessings that can be received by proper fasting, I feel encouraged and uplifted to do better.

For those who may read this who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints (Mormons), on the first Sunday of the month, we fast for two meals, and then donate the amount of money it would have cost us for those meals to the church in order to directly assist those who are poor and needy. Many people donate much more.  I have been witness to that assistance and know that 100% of those funds donated goes DIRECTLY to those who are in most need. This is what constitutes a proper fast. We fast to receive spiritual strength as well as assist those who are less fortunate.

My husband told me a story recently of a friend of his, who while attending law school, was an intern in the White House during the Reagan administration (I guess that dates us!).  At one time, some individuals came to him and asked him to explain the principle of fasting, as practiced by members of the Church. As a young man, he explained the procedure we go through each month. Being analytical types, they wondered if the entire United States practiced this principle, with an average of $20 per family, how much money would be raised each month to help those in need.  If every family in the United States donated the money to their churches to be used directly for the needy, our entire system of welfare in the United States would be abolished. Based on the numbers of those on the welfare rolls at that time, every needy person could be assisted!

Can you imagine the good that could be done in the world if we all practiced this principle? Not only the good of the poor and the needy, but the personal health we can receive by fasting. Many medical professionals have encouraged the practice of fasting once a month to assist in good health.  Every day there are articles regarding the obesity of the people in the United States. Could this be an answer for us also?

Finally, the spiritual strength received by fasting and sacrificing cannot be counted. Sacrificing something as basic as food and water for a short time and petitioning the Lord on behalf of another person yields innumerable blessings. It makes us humble and teachable. I am sure there are many who can testify of the wonderful blessings they have received through fasting.

So as I struggle again to properly fast today, this page will be bookmarked so I can go back and remind myself of all the good that comes from the sacrifice of two meals a month!

1 comment:

Kerin said...

Thank you for this post!
Well written, and I love your sweet testimony.