I thought today would be harder than it is. Sure, we're a little hungry, but the pangs are certainly not unbearable. My heart breaks for those families all over the world, even here in the prosperous US of A who do not get enough to eat. I'm a grown-up, and I can handle this, but I would be beside myself if any of my children had to go hungry. How many mothers across the world have to look into big,hungry eyes and not be able to meet that basic need for their children? The Church needs to work harder to do something about that...I need to do something about that.
Part of my prayer time during this fast has included praying through some of the Psalms. One of today's was Psalm 61. I found great comfort in the words of lament that my own soul could not have expressed without help. "Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you. I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings." That is indeed my heart and my prayer today.
We've had a substantial amount of flooding in nearby areas this week. Last week we received around 16 inches of snow, and then the temperatures shot up to the 60's, melting the white mounds. Then several inches of rain fell. It's so bad that many schools were closed or delayed. Many, many roads are closed. Yesterday morning in a nearby town, a young mother and her five children attempted to cross a flooded road in her Chevy Tahoe (not a small vehicle) and was overcome by the current, which pulled her truck into seven feet of water. The children were all very young, ages three months to five years old. The mother was only able to save three of them; the two-year-old and the five-year-old drowned. My heart is so broken for her and her husband. Will she ever be able to forgive herself for her error in judgement? It's truly my worst Mother-Nightmare come true.
The next chapter of, "Incredible Moments With the Savior" talked about the royal official who approached Jesus to heal his dying child. The man was one of Herod's men, probably very wealthy, and he was probably used to using his wealth and his position to get whatever he wanted. But when his precious son fell ill, he could neither buy nor command health. I think he would have traded every last coin and given up his illustrious career to make his child well, to save him from dying. Then as a last ditch resort, he travels to where a homeless man named Jesus was teaching. He had heard rumors that Jesus had healed some people, and he didn't care that he was a Jew. The life of his child was at stake. Nothing else mattered. He was not above begging for help.
Of course Jesus healed the official's son. He sent him on his way, telling him that the child would live. On the way home, a servant met him and shared the amazing news that his little boy's fever had left...the same time Jesus had spoken to him the day before.
Today as I prayed for God's provision, I was reminded of the young mother who will never get to tuck two of her precious children into bed again. I thought about all the mothers whose children are going to bed hungry tonight, and how helpless they must feel. And I thought about the Roman official whose money could not buy him that which was most important to him.
We have four beautiful children who are healthy and smart and loving. I fed each of them three meals, plus snacks, plus "more juice, please" today. And I know that I will have enough to do the same tomorrow.
I gotta tell ya, I feel like the richest woman in the world right now!