Here I am sitting at my kitchen table, eating my peanut butter rice cake, thinking I wish I had a yummy chicken salad sandwich with a load of potato chips. I was reminded recently during a thankfulness challenge (you know when you say 3 thankful thoughts for 7 days), that I have everything I need. Each day I walk into my kitchen and go to my refrigerator or pantry and pull out food to eat. Never do I go hungry. In fact, at times I eat too much. I am truly thankful for this. Or am I?
It became apparent to me throughout the week that I really didn’t comprehend what it was like to go hungry. Maybe even to eat the same thing over and over again – whatever could be scraped together to fuel my body for the day. I didn’t know what that was truly like.
I didn’t understand the concept of feeling defeated. I couldn’t comprehend what it was like to go through my day and just wish the day was over. I really didn’t know hopelessness to the point that I drown my life in sorrow. I couldn’t possibly be thankful for my life unless I deprived myself of some of those necessities.
So, here it is day 3 of my fasting (which I decided to do to really appreciate those who have no food and feel defeated in life), and I am already wishing I didn’t have to eat another peanut butter rice cake. In fact I am beginning to hate peanut butter (something I thought I would never say). I dream of a delicious breast of chicken with some fresh veggies and fruit. As I cook meals for my family, I wish I could just take a bite (similar to homeless people seeing all of us eat in restaurants). My mind makes me believe that I could just give in and take a day off of this silly fast, but I won’t give in. I must understand what it feels like to be desperate.
Just what is my fast, you ask? I eat my normal oatmeal breakfast, then lunch and dinner consist of a peanut butter rice cake. Yuck. Seriously, yuck. No snacks. My challenge is to keep it up for a week. Gotta say, I am not looking forward to the next 4 days.
Every time I begin to feel sorry for myself, I pray for those who feel defeated, for those who just want to throw in the towel, for those that go without food for days and weeks. I pray for God’s strength and wisdom and guidance.
My stomach growls in pain and I pray. It is so hard, yet I know I will have food in my pantry and my refrigerator after day 7 – most people don’t get that lucky.
So here I am choking down the last bite of my rice cake, praying.
God, please be with all those who feel like they just cannot take it one more day. Give the defeated the gifts of strength and perseverance. Let them know, they are not alone. You are with them. When the pain of hunger strikes, the feeling of hopelessness sets in; allow those people to see Your Light – Your beauty; Your wisdom. After all, you are the most powerful, the King, the provider of all things needed.
You may not feel defeated by hunger; maybe you feel defeated at your job, at school, due to sickness, in your own home – you are in my prayers. God will never leave you or abandon you. He is always with you.