The thought nudges me all morning. Excuses fill my mind like the aroma of baking bread swirling through the kitchen. It tickles my appetite and propels me toward the fridge.
I know I planned to fast for 30 days, but 28 is long enough, right? God can accomplish in 28 days what I thought would take 30. Was that what He said, 30 days?
Still, I avoid the bag of leftover cinnamon rolls I’m keeping out for the kids. Eventually I stash them in the freezer. I’ll break my sugar fast with them in a few days.
A few hours later the kids are occupied, and I’m alone in the kitchen. I hadn’t hid the blondies yet. I rustle the bag open and sink my thumb and forefinger into the moist beige square brimming with chocolate chips. Several loose chips fall to the counter as I slip it from the bag. A pang of guilt eclipses my heart as I lift the square to my toothy trap. I ignore it. The texture on my tongue is heavenly.
Instantly, another thought says, spit it out. (I determined to stop that unhealthy behavior long ago.) I’m committed now. So, I eat one. And then another, until only sandy sugary crumbs remain in the bag. I tilt the bag sprinkling the remains onto my tongue.
Excuses evaporate like darkness in the morning light. Yet guilt remains. Like fog materializing over the hope of a sunny morning.
Whether I break the fast early or finish as planned, that first bite of food goes in, and I feel like silencers get poked into my spiritual ears. I feel like I wont be able to hear God as clearly anymore. Yet, the truth is He still pursues us.
In Genesis 3:6-7 Adam and Eve have just eaten the forbidden fruit. Their instinct is to hide. But God’s instinct is connection with them.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
When we sin, when we break our promises to God, or break a fast, He does not turn from us. He pursues us. The loss we feel is our own soul retreating in guilt and condemnation.
I finally figured out what that awful feeling is after a fast. Whether I completed it or broke it early, I’m still basing the Lord’s acceptance of me on my behavior. When I turn from looking at my failed action to looking at God’s actions in the word, my belief system changes.
He continues to pursue me. I cant throw Him off my trail. No matter what. (Psalm 139:7-12)
No matter how far we fall, He is waiting to carry us and lead us on.
If you break a fast. Forgive yourself. Ask God to forgive you. He has too many wonderful things ahead. Let’s not waste time dwelling on mistakes and hiding from Him.
Moving Forward after a Broken Fast.
1. If you have days left in your fast. Jump back into it now or in the morning.
2. If you are confused about what to do, just stop. Take a rest. Eat as you normally would.
Let God reset His plan in you. Your heart is in His hands; He will lead you. And He will hold you as He re-tells you of His love for you and His special purpose for you.
You are ok. You are held. You are loved.
Your race is far from over. We will stumble and fall, but we wipe the gravel off our knees and get back up. God’s love is surrounding you. His arms reach around yours, to hold you and lift you back to standing.