Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fasting = Rejoicing

12 But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.
13 And on this day thou shalt do none other thing, only let thy food be prepared with singleness of heart that thy fasting may be perfect, or, in other words, that thy joy may be full.
14 Verily, this is fasting and prayer, or in other words, rejoicing and prayer. (D&C 59:12-14)
In starting my fast yesterday, I couldn’t really think of any earth-shattering problems that I wanted to fast about. (This is not to say that we don’t have any problems; yesterday I also got the highly rare and dubious but exciting privilege of watching my husband’s car’s A/C condenser fail, which promises to cost us between $2000 to 4000 to get fixed. It was very exciting and very noisy. My husband was sad because he was trying to figure out where the leak in our A/C was and he was hoping that it would be something small that he could fix. I’m trying to be optimistic by being glad that at least we know where the problem is now AND we got a free show too!)

Let’s start this again. I didn’t know what I wanted to fast about. I suppose I could have fasted about the car, but for some reason I decided that I was tired of fasting about problems and focusing on our problems all the time. So I decided to fast to express gratitude.

It has been the best experience! I didn’t know that it was going to be so amazing! I was taking my contacts out to go to bed and I was thankful for my contacts and also for my glasses. I could see! How difficult it would be to go through life with such blurry vision! (My eyes are really bad; things have to be about 3 or 4 inches away for me to see them clearly.) I got into bed and I was so thankful for that bed with such nice warm blankets to snuggle into. I got up in the morning and I was taking my shower and I was thankful for indoor plumbing. What a great thing to be able to take a shower and get water right in your house! And I was even more thankful for a hot water heater. Warm showers are so nice! I was thankful for my clothes, and my shoes. And having my car to drive to church was great! (With a working air conditioner! Yes!) And I was thankful I could play the organ for church. And I was thankful for prayer.. And I was thankful for Christ.. And I noticed that so many people bore great testimonies today and I had to thank them. I bore my testimony too, and I was so glad that I had one. And I had to compliment a number of people on how they looked; they looked so nice and the colors they wore looked well on them. The lessons were wonderful, because each thing we talked about reminded me of more things I had to be thankful for. And Sister Jones gave me music to practice to accompany her and I was thankful for a chance to have something new to play and the chance to accompany someone singing. And Sister Olsen reiterated that she was moving this month and I remembered how much I enjoyed talking to her over the last few years and I had to tell her how happy I was to have known her. And coming home I saw my neighbor across the street preparing to spray paint his fading bumper and I remembered how many times he has helped us with our crazy burst sprinkler system and the time he helped us replace our living room fan and the time he helped replace the spigots to our washer (he set the walls on fire with his blowtorch, but he had a bucket of water handy to put it out right away) and I was thankful for everything he had done for us that I had to thank him for that. (He’s the go-to guy for our landlord.)

And I’m having a really hard time writing this, because it is reminding me how many blessings I have and I just can’t help but cry. I AM SO THANKFUL! Heavenly Father is SO KIND!
15 And inasmuch as ye do these things with thanksgiving, with cheerful hearts and countenances, not with much laughter, for this is sin, but with a glad heart and a cheerful countenance—
16 Verily I say, that inasmuch as ye do this, the fulness of the earth is yours… (D&C 59:15-16)
Yeah, that’s how I feel right now. The fullness of the earth has been mine and I never realized it until now.
…the fulness of the earth is yours, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and that which climbeth upon the trees and walketh upon the earth;
17 Yea, and the herb, and the good things which come of the earth, whether for food or for raiment, or for houses, or for barns, or for orchards, or for gardens, or for vineyards;
18 Yea, all things which come of the earth, in the season thereof, are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart;
19 Yea, for food and for raiment, for taste and for smell, to strengthen the body and to enliven the soul. (D&C 59:16-19)
So.. tell me about your good experiences with fasting. Was there anything you fasted for that brought you more joy than you had anticipated?