by Sharon Tubbs
My life changed… Really.
Gone were the days of getting dressed and traipsing off to my “office,” which consisted of a corner booth at Panera Bread where the rent equals a coffee refill and a bagel.
No more Sunday night treats of Häagen-Dazs Rocky Road while watching an old TV episode of Columbo. (Yes, sad and strange, I know…)
There would be no quick stops for fast food on my way home. In fact, there would be no fast food at all. No sugar or other sweeteners, no eggs, no beloved cheese.
For three weeks, I committed to the Daniel fast—a fast based on passages in the Book of Daniel that restricts your diet to vegetables, fruits, natural grains and drinking water. I’ve done daylong straight fasts (water or juice only) many times. But nothing that required me to read product labels.
Now, I must pause here to reassure my fellow blog-readers and tell you not to worry: This is not another write-up about fasting for the New Year!
It’s actually about lessons gleaned from the fast. They are lessons that God wants you to learn, too, by whatever means. You see, even more than the food restrictions, the fast presented another huge obstacle for me: giving up control and trading my routine for His will.
The truth is that I typically decide what portions of my day will be dedicated to God.
I choose to read Scriptures in the morning time.
Some days, I’ll look outside and see the sun shining and think, It’s a nice day for a prayer walk. So, I’ll drive over to the Upper Tampa Bay Trail and say prayers as I take in the fresh air, the trees, the sky and the clouds that God created.
Other days I’ll turn my home computer to Youtube, listen to Gospel favorites, and have a little solo praise and worship party.
But all of these things are done at my leisure, my convenience. They fit neatly around my meetings and greetings, my research and writing.
Then a month or so ago, God divinely tapped me on the shoulder and whispered His will for me to do something different. I went along with it, wondering all the while, How on earth am I going to get any work done without my corner booth and my coffee and my bagel?
In the beginning, I tried to make my old routine work with slight modifications. I went to the same places and ordered limited items on the menu. That didn’t last long—for one, the plain soup and plain salad cost a lot more than a cup of coffee.
It became clear that I’d have to give up more than food. I had to give up my ways. I started working from home, while snacking on apples and carrot sticks. I started exploring new places, trying new dishes.
In the end, I learned a few things about health and nutrition and the positive changes that come with paying more attention to what I eat. I realized how I had made sweets and other tasty foods a huge priority and concern in my life. Of course, this should not be:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? –Matthew 6:25.
Most of all, I learned what it felt like to give up control, to lay my desires aside and plan my day around what God was asking of me, as opposed to planning God around my day.
When I did that, Our Wonderful Savior revealed something that I had known in theory, but not really in practice: With His grace and strength, I truly can do whatever He sets my mind to do.
If I can go three weeks without coffee or sugar, if I can delight in a plate of green beans with no meat in sight, or settle in for Columbo with a fresh fruit salad in-hand, then truly nothing is impossible for God.
What are you believing God to do in your life that may seem impossible? Share your comments below.
Sharon Tubbs works with the Women’s Ministry at Grace Family Church. She is also an inspirational speaker, author and business owner. As she continually strives to reach her potential in Christ, Sharon’s joy comes from inspiring others to do the same by truly seeking and knowing Him.