Here is Winston, about nine weeks old. Winston has been with us for nearly two weeks. Earlier this week, he and his sister Maggie (yes, named after two British prime ministers) chewed on a Sego palm, something extremely toxic for all dogs. We took them to the veterinarian, where they began two days of treatment. Initially, the bloodwork was good, but the vet kept them overnight to watch them. The next morning Winston’s liver enzyme levels had skyrocketed and we were fearing for his life. Both my wife and I spontaneously fasted and prayed, without telling each other. The spiritual discipline of fasting is ancient and trustworthy, and perhaps can help develop a greater hunger for something more profound. Perhaps the giving up of food or drink can awaken a hunger for a deeper and more meaningful life, can develop a hunger for God.
Those of us who are alcoholics, or addicts of another sort, are fasting today, if we are working our program. I am fasting from alcohol today, and have been for more than 33 years. God willing, I will continue the fast the rest of today and begin again tomorrow. Giving up alcohol and other drugs has opened my life up in profound ways, most importantly in my search for God. I no longer look for the God of my understanding, as is mentioned in the 12 Steps, but I seek and am found by the God completely beyond my understanding, the God of grace that forgives my sin and faithlessness not because of what I’ve done but because of who Jesus is.
The next day we called the vet and found out that Winston’s levels were now normal, with no explanation. Folks joined us in prayer all over the world. Winston and Maggie are back home with us, living testimony to the power of prayer and the gifts of God’s mercy.
Did fasting make the difference? I don’t know. I don’t know a lot about how God works.
What I do know is that I am grateful.
To God be the glory! Amen.