Ok, i'll admit it, I am the queen of excuses. I have an excuse for absolutely everything that makes me uncomfortable, stretches my limits or requires me to go above and beyond. Take fasting, for instance. A spiritual discipline, not commanded, but highly suggested. "When you fast..." I feel like Jesus must have added a "hint, hint, wink wink" facial expression... like "this is what you should be doing." But naturally, we have excuses. True, some people, for medical reasons cannot eliminate food from their diet completely, but there are other ways to fast. Fasting can be done for several different reasons. I think that the elimination of food, especially to eliminate it completely, is true sign that one is depending on God. As humans, we are, of course, required to function on food. And what do we do? We panic when we miss a meal, or two, and freak out when we're told fasting is a great way of drawing nearer to God. We come up with the ultimate excuse: "I won't be able to function properly."
Silly humans... God is so much bigger than what we require for bodily function. Don't you think that in the days that you have committed to fasting for the Lord, God will give you the strength to go about your daily activities? Oh wait... it's not the fact that we won't function properly, it's the fact that we just plain don't want to give up our food. We don't want to be uncomfortable.
I am just as guilty of this thought as anyone else. When I work a nine hour shift, constantly running around, the last thing I want to have to think about is my growling stomach, but that's actually the beauty of it. That growling is an intermittent reminder of how we need to depend on God for our strength. It is a reminder to pray for those that we would not pray for otherwise. It is a reminder to draw near to the one who is the true Life Sustainer.