Wednesday, June 22, 2016
A little bit of Dawn, a scrub brush and a soaking overnight
For supper last night, we ate the last vestiges of the macaroni and cheese that I had prepared as a side dish for Father's Day. It was still good, made even better by sitting in the fridge a couple of days. And in the reheating, it produced a yummy crunchy cheese layer on top...and a strong adhering of burnt-on sauce on the baking pan itself.
"This one is going to need soaking," Bill announced, as he finished the dishes.
Before we went to bed, I realized it would need an even longer soak.
This morning, it still took a scrub brush and a little elbow grease before it came clean.
Yesterday, as I returned from an early morning run, I felt compelled to fast and pray. When the thought occurred to me, I dismissed it. There was nothing obvious that I was seeking. Not today. But as I began to prepare a simple breakfast, I felt even more convicted. I put down the strawberry I was slicing for my yogurt, covered the bowl with plastic wrap, put it in the fridge, and went about my day, waiting and listening for what to pray. God placed different people and things on my radar throughout the day, but nothing extraordinary. By the end of the day and the breaking of my fast, there still nothing evident to hang my prayers on.
But in the face of what appears insignificant and without obvious purpose, God is still working, sometimes I think more powerfully than when we think we see His hand.
Even while I was scrubbing the baking pan this morning, I was still mystified about the fast, "I wonder what that was all about?"
And in my thoughts, I heard Bill's voice from the evening before, "This one needs to soak."
I just needed to soak, not for a particular prescribed answer, not for an outcome I would want, or even to see God's hand on a specific situation, but to soak in Him, for the Holy Spirit to soften the crusty, stubborn, baked-on places in my heart and align my heart with His, not just cleaning it up, but getting ready for what is yet to come.
Fasting doesn't capture God's attention. It draws ours to His. The point is not in the fasting, not in seeking answers, but in seeking God Himself.
We don't always know. No, we rarely have any idea what God is up to. But He is working, stronger still. We just need to follow Him into His leading, even when it does not appear to make sense. Because it always does. We just can't see it yet.
And He said to them,
"This kind cannot be driven out
by anything but prayer and fasting."
Mark 9. 29