The desire is so strong! “Father, what can I put into my mouth to bring me joy?” Reading the Scriptures and picturing sitting at His feet, my first inclination is instant gratification for the craving of my taste buds: a creamy latte, a yummy scone, a hot cinnamon roll right out of the oven; on and on my mind will race unless I say, “STOP!” And I do. “Father, fill my craving with the joy of your presence for there is nothing better.” However, just to be clear, I am very thankful for all that we can enjoy through taste, and it is a wonderful gift to be sure. I am very much looking forward to enjoying tasty treats when my fast ends BUT in moderation.
Much of the time I feel like the Israelites during the Wilderness Wanderings crying out for something more than manna!
What really is so convicting is that I realize, if I was not participating in this fast, I would walk into my kitchen and start baking, or even better, I could load up at the Stickboy Bread Company. And thus, I would miss out on learning how God’s presence can bring a greater joy; I would miss out on experiencing something deeper, longer lasting, eternal, treasure in heaven, with Sheer Delight attached for here and now.
Throughout this “no dairy, no sugar” fast, Psalm 16 has become so dear to me:
Preserve me through this “no dairy, no sugar” fast O Lord, I take refuge in YOU. I said to the Lord, ‘You ARE my Master! And every good thing I have comes from you.’ The godly people serving YOU, not looking for temporal indulgences, are my true heroes! I take pleasure in them! The sorrows of those who have traded for other gods will be multiplied; I will not take part. Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord continually before me. I will not be shaken because He is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. Never will You abandon Me. You will show me the path of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.[Psalm 16 NASB & NLT with paraphrasing]
You have filled my heart with greater joy (Psalm 4:7)! It is Sheer Delight!