Day 6 – Our women’s ministry team hosted our last event of the ministry year on Saturday night, which included a clothing exchange, a potluck and a time of worship. The evening was a success, but I am not here to talk about it, other than these two things:
- I know I’ve told all of you by internet that I am fasting, but it’s quite another thing to tell people to their face. I’d decided I wouldn’t, that I’d keep myself busy while the potluck was on and people wouldn’t figure it out. Except they did figure it out because ours is a loving group of women who care that everyone gets fed, plus seconds. When one woman insisted that I try the potato salad, I had to tell her why I, the carb-lover, wouldn’t. With great empathy she told me of a time that he had fasted – an inopportune time, between Christmas and New Years – but that God had honoured that sacrifice. She looked off in the distance that thanked me for reminding her about that very specific answer to prayer she received, which she didn’t feel necessary to disclose. When people find out that I’m fasting, they often share their fasting stories which involves growing deeper in their walk with God and answers to prayer. I hope that I will remember this fast years from now and the way that God provides.
- After the event, when our team was cleaning up and ready to leave, the prayer team carried on, interceding for those who would come to them with their problems and worries. They were doing their own thing and I was happy to let them do it. But the prayer team leader came outside to grab me before I left. “We’d like you to come for prayer. God laid it on my heart to pray for you with the team.” While I believe entirely in the power of prayer and the prayer team made up of Godly woman, I will tell you that my first reaction was to put my guard up. Do I need prayer? I’m tired, it’s the end of a long day, can’t I just go home? But they sat me down in the hot seat and eight beautiful ladies opened up to pray for me. With hands laid on me, they asked aloud for my renewal and strength, direction and peace, wisdom and anticipation for the year ahead. They prayed for me. I don’t remember all their words, but their love made a huge impact. I’ve never known this kind of prayer support before, but from now on I will seek it out.
Day 7 – On Sunday, all three pastors spoke on 1 Corinthians 4:20, a short little verse that packs a punch, “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” I’ve been mulling over it after the pastors explained, respectively, the kingdom of God can only be entered through the cross, faith in Jesus Christ; it is an eternal kingdom that starts in now; the power is what happens when we put that faith into action. I considered how when you dwell in this kingdom, when you claim full citizenship status, the cares of this world, while they still exist, also disappear.
Day 8 – On a mini road trip, I absent-mindedly asked one friend for a couple of the delicious grapes she had brought from home. It was after 2 p.m. Things got awkward for a moment when she reluctantly asked if I should. When I got home, I made sure she was on my Close Friends list on Facebook.
Also, I received this brilliant word, by two-part Twitter feed no less:
Your prayer for your job is not merely that it be stable and prosperous, but that it truly serves the needs of society and that in all your labor and all your relationships your joy in Christ and your love for people would make a name for Jesus. (John Piper)