Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
I spoke about how these words of Jesus came after 40 days of fasting in which Jesus was responding to a temptation of the devil. The devil invited him to turn a stone into bread to appease his hunger, but Jesus responded with these words of Scripture rejecting the devil's offer. More could be said about this passage, but you can read the message on this website. I figured though, that, if Jesus could fast 40 days and 40 nights, surely I could fast from Monday to Friday.
Well, on Monday evening I returned home to find a message on the telephone. I was asked to officiate at a funeral on Friday. I wondered to myself, "If I do this fast, will I be able to be strong enough to lead a funeral on Friday?" "Well," I told myself, "if I have to stop, I have to stop." The week proceeded pretty well, but then Friday morning hit.
I woke up after having a restless end to my sleep. I was debating what to do, but I decided to check the weather, because they were calling for sleet. Since they were calling for bad weather throughout the day, I decided to do an early morning bike ride. It was a little before 5:30 a.m. I got dressed and headed out the door only to find out that it had just begun to sleet. So, I changed my plans. Since I was dressed already, I headed to the church to make copies of a handout for the funeral. This must have been a God-thing.
I entered my office at church and stepped into a water-saturated carpet. I heard a gurgling water sound. At first I thought maybe something happened to the roof when the workers put on new gutters. But how would that explain the soaked carpet? Where was this water coming? I soon discovered water spurting out from a pipe that was part of our heating system had burst. I cleared things out of the office, and called the furnace man, and not much later, my wife, and then the trustees of the church.
After I called the furnace repair man though, with the water still flowing, I looked at the pipe more closely. Amazingly, this non-mechanical minded person, put the pipes together which burst apart. Thus, the water stopped flowing. This must have been a God thing. Then the help started to arrive. See, I had already discovered, as I needed to get a screwdriver from our furnace room downstairs, that water had been flowing into the kitchen in the basement damaging the paint on the wall, water logging and having one ceiling tile fall to the floor with water all over the counters, and having much water on the floor throughout the basement. My wife said the water was deep enough to have a gold fish; that was probably an exaggeration.
Anyway, the help came: my wife and college-aged son, my trustee's husband, another trustee, and the furnace repair man. These people coming were God things. The furnace repairman looked at the pipe, and then shut down the furnace. He told me he already had a big project scheduled, but he would try to return later, but he didn't know if and when. I did tell him another congregation had a service scheduled that night. Anyway, more than three hours after going to make copies for the funeral, with the help of those many hands, most of the water was sucked up.
I could not help but think throughout the day, just as Jesus was tempted near the end of his fast, so here was my test near the end of my fast. After I returned from the funeral, I headed to the church building to see what I could do. However, my trustee and husband were coming home from the church. We stopped and talked. I told them that I hoped the furnace repairman would make it back today. Amazingly, it was during that conversation with them on the street, that he called to say he had arrived. So, when I arrived, he was there waiting. He had been there about five minutes. This must have been a God thing.
Two hours later the pipe was fixed, and the furnace was running. Yes, carpets need to dry out. Furniture needs to be moved. Walls need to be painted. Ceiling tiles need to be painted. In other words, more work still needs to occur. I am sure God will provide for that also.
God provided a fast. He led me into a test. But through the test, God also was at work doing amazing things. He did not abandon me. God truly is amazing. By the way, I have finished writing this blog just before 4 on Saturday morning. In a couple hours I will break my fast. This must have been a God thing.