Friday, October 27, 2006

My face hurts

I think I need to go to the dentist. The left side of my jaw hurts- I'm pretty sure I'm going to have to have my wisdom teeth removed.

So, instead of drinking coffee today, I decided to get a vanilla chai (my excuse: 'I need to break this $20!') while walking on my lunch break. Chai is pretty sweet, and that vanilla syrup is pure sugar, but I can usually handle a grande without getting really wired. But then one of our admins brought me a piece of October-birthdays-in-the-boardroom! cake, and I thought it was so sweet of her that I couldn't refuse. I had no intention of eating it, and I still don't. I've been absent mindedly picking at the frosting for an hour or so (frosting is usually my favorite part), but it's not appealing at all today because I just can't stand the idea of any more sugar in my system. It's a good sign, really. Lately I've had very little desire to eat unhealthy food.

It's nice feeling better about myself. I've been working out regularly- lifting weights and riding a stationary bike. I never thought I'd ever be able to ride one of those bikes in a gym (because they're so boring and they hurt my back), but I found one in the gym that's in a sort of reclined position, so I can lean back and read. I'm surprised how long I can ride without getting bored because I'm so distracted reading.

I think I may start fasting regularly (this is unrelated to losing weight- I just happened to think of it). I used to fast once a week with my sister, and once a month with IHOP, KC (International House of Prayer, Kansas City) but I stopped, because I was beginning to struggle with viewing it legalistically. It's been a few months and God has brought it to my mind several times in the last few days.

If you've never fasted, pray about it and think about it. The benefits of the practice itself are widely recognized by many faiths, but Christian fasting is different.

Types of biblical reasons to fast:
1. To avert individual/national crisis (1 Sam 7:6, Jonah 3:3-5, Joel 1:14, 2:15)
2. Fast to experience the power of God in personal ministry (matt 17:21, though the phrasing differs between translations)
3. For corporate revival (ex. Paul)
4. To express sorrow or mourning (ex. David in Psalm 38 & 69)
5. Corporate sin over a nation or city (1 sam 7:6, Neh 9)
6. Over personal loss, the death of a loved one (David in 2 sam 12:16-23)
7. Desire for God
8. Preperation for a divine assignment(Neh 1:4, Ezra 8:21, Acts 13:1-2, 14:23,
9. The bridegroom fast (Matt 9:14-15)

Something happened to me when my body was temporarily deprived of what is takes comfort in. The last fast I did was 3 days- the whole time, I was tired and grumpy, and very sensitive (in other words, not MUCH off of my typical demeanor :)), but it left me emotionally raw, and very sensitive to the still small voice of the Lord. It's also beneficial in a practical way, as fasting takes away something that I normally spend a lot of time doing (and really enjoy)- cooking and eating, therefore leaving me with a lot of extra time. In short, fasting positioned my heart and flesh in a posture of willingness to be worked on and instilled in me a fierce desire for His presence.


Melissa said...

Rachel, kudos on the working out! It's hard to keep it up, but well worth the rewards. :)

I think it's awesome that you fast regularly, or are getting back into that practice. I have never done it, more out of a fear of passing out from a lack of food than anything else. God is still working on me in that area and many others.

I hope your jaw gets better soon. I'm sure that's annoying and worrisome.

RachelRenae said...

Thanks. I'm going to the dentist on Thursday.

I don't see fasting as something that is necessary in the Christian life. My experience is that it brings some people to a deeper intimacy with the Lord, but it doens't work for all. There's a lot of reasons why it can be a hindrance or a distraction (health, theology, etc.), so I have to be really careful that my endoresements of fasting don't sound like condemnations of NOT fasting. I once heard someone say "don't fast unless you can't stand not to."

Melissa said...

I just noticed your comment, how did the visit to the dentist go?

RachelRenae said...

I have to get my wisdom teeth pulled. :( I am looking forward to it, though. I'll feel so much better after.

Melissa said...

I feel your pain. :( It'll be better in the long run, but... ouch.