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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Graber

I crave sugar, but I love Jesus!

In preparation for Easter, Pastor suggested the idea of fasting for lent. Just a short, 21 day fast from something like sugar--a sacrifice in honor of Jesus' sacrifice for us. I decided to give up refined sugar.

Except...I didn't.

  1. First, I ate my usual high fiber, gluten free bread. After a few days, I looked at the label and noticed it contained sugar.

  2. Then, I ate gluten free tortilla shells instead. High fiber, low fat, high protein--just my jam. Sugar.

  3. CHEDDAR CHEESE POPCORN! Give me guessed it...SUGAR!

I'm starting to think manufacturer's just automatically put sugar on every label! Still, I got my legs under me, and although I was off to a rocky start, I am now in week 3. In week 2, however, I encountered some craving hurdles.

I texted my friend Julie:

Then, I stared at the screen...


WHY wasn't she responding in my time of DIRE need for support?!? Where were the bubbles? Why wasn't she answering me right now???

I'll tell you why...because she has a life, and she is not at my beck and call. Then I heard the other question: if you're struggling, why aren't you calling on the one who can help you through, the one who is really in control: God? The wake up call for me to put my struggle up to God in prayer came in the silence. In fact, I should have turned to God first; I was doing the fast to honor Jesus, yet I found myself looking for Earthly support. Why was I looking in other places for answers and the relief I needed from God? So, I bowed my head, put my hands together, and called on Jesus, God, and the Holy Ghost to get me through this craving.

While I was talking to my heavenly father, a couple of things came to me:

  1. Jesus fasted for 40 days and resisted temptation so he could die on a cross and save me from sin, and I was complaining about the temptation of sugar.

  2. Giving up sugar may not seem like a big deal, but my purpose was to make a sacrifice for the one who sacrificed for me. I felt guilt that I could so easily be tempted by such a tiny thing and give into such a little thing for someone who did something big for me. Ugh!

  3. I wasn't craving the sugar anymore; I was craving more time with Jesus. Praise was pouring out of me now; my request had already been answered.

The scripture Matthew 11:28 (NIV) says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."

While I was praying, I was thinking on this verse, and I thought to myself, if I don't turn to God even in the little things, what will happen if something big threatens to burden me? Who will I turn to? Who will help me bear my load? God doesn't promise to take away temptation. Accepting Jesus as my savior holds some pretty awesome magic--like helping me deal with temptation--but salvation doesn't remove the happenings of life. What I get when when I am weary and burdened is a place to go for rest, someone to put my burdens on no matter how small, and someone to help me carry the load.

The answer? Jesus bore the cross for all our sins. ALL of them! The big ones and the small ones...well, there aren't any small ones, but the point is Jesus wants all of the people to come to Him with any little thing, and God will lift the burden--any burden, any weight. God can move mountains, so too big (or too small) is not something that concerns God.

I felt needy and a little guilty praying about this little granular craving. I know many other people who are struggling with much bigger and more difficult challenges: addiction, cancer scares, limb amputation, depression and loneliness, abuse, divorce--just to name a few. But my God doesn't see the size of hurdles the way I do. He can move mountains, and my small thing gets equal attention. Putting limits on God compromises my faith. The whole purpose of my fast was to strengthen my relationship with God in all things--not to limit God's participation in my life.

God wants to be in the details of our lives. Big or small, praying over whatever I am struggling with invites God into fellowship and shows my faith in God in all things. I love this verse:

Matthew 6:30 says, "And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?"

When I turn somewhere other than God, I am not giving Him the opportunity to work on the details of my life. Right now, the details are my refined sugar fast.

Still, one of the details god is putting in my life is the support of my friends. I wonder if God distracted Julie to see if I would turn to Him in prayer. Julie did eventually respond:

Maybe next time. For now, I'm solid: 5 days of fasting left. I might keep going until Easter. More to come...



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