Well, it’s day 12, and now that were into the second half of our time of fasting, I wanted to share something I wrote last year at the same point, as I believe it has something to say to us again this year.
Getting through the midway mark is important, because it helps you feel like the uphill battle of grumbling stomachs and unfed appetites can turn into a downhill roll. But I think it also makes the enemy upset. You’re gaining strength. You’re increasing self-discipline. You’re getting closer to your goal.
I’m reminded of a similar situation found in Nehemiah chapter 4.
“So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached HALF its height, for the people worked with all their heart.”
Under Nehemiah’s leadership, this courageous crew of labourers were working on rebuilding the devastated walls of Jerusalem. We see after getting to the halfway point, they faced a lot of resistance from their enemy. They were also dealing with a lot of fatigue from within their camps.
Follow this storyline in the next few verses…
“But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the people of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry. They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the labourers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
I feel like this moment of the story categorically defines so many of our journeys. When we’re in the middle of something important – battling for breakthrough and building something valuable.
Just like the workers of Nehemiah’s day, we face a mixture of emotions. We’re excited to see the progress, but we’re also weary from the progress. We’re working with all our hearts, but so is the enemy, in his attempts to stop us in our tracks.
Making it through the middle might just be one of the most critical parts of this fasting journey. And to do so, we can take a queue from how the workers of old made it through.
We see that the people “worked with all their heart”, and were fully invested. We also see a prayer continue to surface throughout their fatigue and opposition. That prayer went something like this: “Now strengthen the work of our hands.”
They knew where to turn for strength. Every day. Every hour. Every moment of opposition. God we’ll work with all of our hearts, but we need YOU to give US the strength to finish what we’ve started. You’ve given us a vision. You’ve given us a future. Now give us everything we need to take hold of it.
So, let’s keep going after this with all our heart, and pray for God to ‘strengthen the work of our hands’ so we can finish this fast strong and victorious!