“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: . . .? Then your light shall break forth like the morning. Your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. . . . If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness . . .” Isaiah 58:6-12
Again, tension was building up. My husband and I were responding to things and circumstances by grumbling and complaining and becoming discontented. The last straw was the situation with our neighbors and the frustration of how they neglect their animals. I was in tears and my husband was angry, partly with me and partly with the neighbors.
I stormed off to take a walk and get over my attitude about how my husband didn’t even try to understand or comfort me. I was being very critical of his “spirituality,” because obviously he was falling way short of being a good spiritual leader!
After I ranted and raved to God for a few minutes, the Holy Spirit brought Psalm 37:8 to my mind: “Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret—it only causes harm.” I had been contemplating verbally assaulting my husband and stealing my neighbors’ animals!
The Lord showed me that we had slipped into a very self-centered way of thinking and dealing with things, and that the problems were not so much the neighbors or situations at home or work—they were the symptoms of sin that distracted us from our purpose: to be servants of God and to let our lights shine. We had lost our joy and were beginning to become distant from each other. We had not prayed together or spent much time in the Word. We were walking in the flesh rather than in the Spirit and were becoming “miserable old people”!
After gaining a new perspective and getting back on track, we decided to “fast” from the things that keep our light from shining—things like complaining, grumpiness, self-pity, neglecting spiritual disciplines, etc. It was amazing to see how quickly the Lord could change two rebellious, wayward hearts by simply believing and responding to His Word.
“Lord, I am so thankful that You, by Your Holy Spirit, wait patiently as we stumble, then listen to our cries as You gently convict and lead us in the way of righteousness for Your Name’s sake. We are so blessed. Amen!”