Monday, July 28, 2008

Isaiah 38: A plea and an answer

This chapter continues the narrative of Hezekiah.  He is very sick and Isaiah confronts him with his impending death and bids him set his house in order.  Hezekiah immediately begins a very plaintive prayer, weeping and asking the Lord to remember his faithfulness.    In answer, the Lord reveals to Isaiah that Hezekiah will live another 15 years and that Jerusalem will survive, and he even promises a sign to assure Hezekiah that this will happen.  The remainder of the chapter is a psalm of Hezekiah, praising God for his miraculous delivery.

To me, this is an excellent lesson and testimony on the effectiveness of sincere prayer.   The first point to notice is the desire of Hezekiah’s heart.   He was not sad about dying because he was afraid of death, or for the missing of the joys and pleasures of this life.  He was deeply sad because he loved to serve the Lord and he didn’t want to be released from his calling.   The sore weeping and pleading show the magnitude of this desire.  The fact that he was willing to entreat the Lord in this manner, presumably in the presence of Isaiah, shows the incredible sincerity and faith possessed by Hezekiah.    Truly the Lord grants unto the children of men according to their desires.

The next point is that even though a prophet came to Hezekiah and foretold his imminent demise, Hezekiah still asked for a reprieve and he got it!  This kind of thing can be found throughout the scriptures.  Some notable examples are Abraham’s pleading for Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis 18,  Enos’ request for the salvation of the Lamanites in The Book of Enos, and the sealing powers granted to Elijah, Nephi, and others.  It appears that in some instances, the Lord is ready to do one thing, but because of the pleadings of his righteous children, he does another.   It fascinates me how intertwined the Lord’s purposes are with the desires and wills of his own children.  As a father myself, I should take note!




Monday, July 07, 2008

Fasting Days 12-15

I finished winding down from my fast on Friday and resumed my normal diet.    For the final days, I kept my diet strictly vegetarian, but it was a mixture of cooked and raw vegetables.     My strength has largely returned, though I still feel a tinge of muscular weakness.   My weight snapped back somewhat (as expected), but remains about 5-6 lbs lower than when I started.   My intestinal tract has taken some time to readjust to normal food consumption.   There has been some discomfort, but it has been mild.  Finally, I had my regular monthly fast yesterday and I noticed that it was much easier for me than what I have been accustomed to. 

General impressions

I would say that my overall feelings of health are good and largely unchanged from when I began.   I have noticed that psychologically I am much more sensitive to what I am eating, and it is easier to have smaller helpings of meat and dairy.   Mentally, the only difference I could really notice is that I started feeling fogged out after 72 hours of fasting. 

I have to say that these results a pretty lackluster and I doubt I will attempt such a long fast again.    I’m still a fan of shorter (1-day) fasts, however, and I recommend using a raw food diet to prepare for one, as it largely eliminates discomfort from hunger. 

That’s about it.  Please let me know if any of this information is helpful to you!


Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Fasting: Days 9-11

A few hours after I wrote my previous post, my energy level went right off a cliff.   I started getting dizzy spells if I stood up too quickly and could detect that my ability to concentrate was waning.   Since I was planning on heading to work the next day, I decided to switch to a juice fast and I drank a glass of orange juice before I went to bed.

Monday, Day 9:   I continued to drink juice throughout the day, including orange juice, grape juice, and even some V8.   My energy was extremely low all day and my ability to do meaningful work was significantly impaired.   The juice would help with the energy, but the effects would be short-lived.   I decided that today I would break my fast since I needed to be alert when I drive and at work, so tonight I picked up the ingredients of a rice & bean & vegetable Indian soup and made that for dinner.   It was delicious, though I found my appetite was very low.

Tuesday, Day 10:  I tried to eat my regular breakfast of raw oats, millet, and walnuts, but it found that I had very little appetite in the morning, so I only ate maybe a third of a bowl.   I ate some lightly cooked vegetables for lunch and that was much better.   I was more alert today, but I still felt myself physically weak and moving around slowly.     For dinner I had some of the soup from yesterday and an artichoke.   My appetite had returned by then.

Wednesday, Day 11:  I’m feeling much better this morning and my muscles are showing only a small amount of weakness.  I’ve gained back 2.5 lbs from my low point, putting me down about ten pounds overall.  I expect to gain back 2-3 more over the next week.  


Generally, I’ve been OK with how I’ve been feeling, but  I was way more wiped out at the end of the fast than I anticipated.   I think I could have done all five days if my activity levels had been lower and if I didn’t have to go to work toward the end.    Next time I try this I’ll make sure to take a couple of days off from work.