Monday, August 23, 2010

dining like daniel

So maybe you’ve noticed I’ve been a little MIA lately. Or maybe you haven’t. And that’s ok. But for those of you that did notice, I feel like I should explain…

10 days ago I took a break. Almost like a break from the world in some senses. I just really felt like God was tugging at my heart. In the midst of all of the craziness of my transition home I had forgotten what was important. It was all too easy for me to come home and be selfish, instead of obeying His plans for me. So I took a break.

A few friends of mine had either completed or were in the midst of the “Daniel Fast” when I was in Lynchburg. Ever heard of it? ((click here)) Basically it is a biblically based partial fast for your body, mind, and soul. It stems from the book of Daniel in The Bible – Daniel 1 (a 10 day fast) and Daniel 10 (a 21 day fast). In theory, it sounded great – only plant-based foods, only water to drink, no breads, no caffeine, no chemicals…no sugar. But me? No sugar? Surely I wouldn’t survive. I quickly dismissed the idea and didn’t think twice about it until a week or so after I had moved home.

God obviously had other plans. He had things He wanted to show me and I was way too distracted. That’s when I felt the call to do the fast. And of course I put it off. Excuse after excuse…”Well, I mean, Brie is coming home and we will probably go out to eat.” Or “The new froyo place opened and they have cotton candy flavor and a self-serve toppings bar!” And of course…”But its crabfest at Rod Lobster!!!” After a humbling Wednesday night the Lord helped me come to my senses as I dedicated the next 10 days to the “Daniel Fast” as outlined in Daniel 1:1-15…

In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord delivered Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, along with some of the articles from the temple of God. These he carried off to the temple of his god in Babylonia and put in the treasure house of his god. Then the king ordered Ashpenaz, chief of his court officials, to bring in some of the Israelites from the royal family and the nobility-young men without any physical defect, handsome, showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king's palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians. The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king's table. They were to be trained for three years, and after that they were to enter the king's service. Among these were some from Judah: Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. The chief official gave them new names: to Daniel, the name Belteshazzar; to Hananiah, Shadrach; to Mishael, Meshach; and to Azariah, Abednego. But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Now God had caused the official to show favor and sympathy to Daniel, but the official told Daniel, "I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you." Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, "Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but pulse [pulse = plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, etc.] to eat and water to drink. Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see." So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.

Am I better nourished? Absolutely! Because it wasn’t food I was craving…it was Jesus. Not only did I give up my favorite foods, but I turned off the TV and stayed away from my personal Facebook page. For 10 days. And it wasn’t easy. In fact, it is the only fast I’ve consistently completed. I’m pretty sure David Nassar’s “A Call to Die” (40 days) took me about…3 years.

It is something I willfully share now, because I think it was an amazing experience and I learned a lot through it, but it was also something I didn’t want to advertise before or while I was going through it because it was so personal. I traded TV shows for runs full of prayers for family & friends. Chances are, if you are reading this, you were prayed for. I swapped Facebook for time in God’s Word. And I became quite well adjusted and accustomed to life without white sugar. Can you believe not a single grain of the white stuff passed through my lips? My new food addiction includes Larabars, avocados, and nut butters – all of which I consumed in mass quantities while I was on this fast (I even made my own walnut butter!)

But most importantly, I’ve come to realize that though I’ve learned a lot these past 10 days, I am still a work in progress. I am thankful for the time I had for the Lord to reveal certain areas of my own life that need some work and I ask that you please pray for me as He refines my life and uses me for His glory.

“He makes known secrets that are deep and hidden; He knows what is hidden in darkness, and light is all around Him.” – Daniel 2:22


  1. You continue to amaze me in so many ways. I am SO proud of you, Fav! And God is too! :)

  2. I was missing you so much today! I thought I would check on you for a bit (you know how I need mental breaks at work=)... And I just read this amazing entry of your obedience.
    You are so amazing! Even now we are 4 hours apart, you are still such an encouragement in my life! I am so proud of you! And PRAY for you daily as you are obeying God and have positioned yourself to be available for the next journey! Wish I could get a hug from you today!
    Love you!!

  3. I am almost done "proof" reading a manuscript to a book called "Made to Crave." It's all about resisting our cravings to things (mostly food) that separate us from God. Anything apart from Him that we crave is an idol. I think you would LOVE it! Check it out, it get's released in December I think.