Doing Something Hard Now For Blessings Later

An olive press.

Hello again. I feel like Sleeping Beauty waking up from her long sleep. Alas, true love’s kiss is with Mr. Hot Stuff taking care of part of the kingdom in Costa Rica. But he’ll be back by the weekend. The smoke seems to be clearing out in the valley where I live; the herbs I am taking for the cough are helping. I have finally been able to rest.

After so many weeks of fighting the cough, and a round of antibiotics, I decided to tackle this monster with a long fast.

(Note: If my talking about this fast is something that might trigger you for an eating disorder, please stop reading now. Click over to something else. I care about you and would never want to cause harm.)

Science shows that fasting helps your body recycle and use your damaged cells as fuel, and I figured I obviously had plenty of those tearing through my body. It’s a process called autophagy. A super-awesome way for God to say, “Let me help you with this.” That’s what I think, anyway.

So I’m on day three of a five day fast. They say day three is the hardest. Considering I slept through the first two, I have to agree. Today I feel more alert (since I finally caught up on my sleep) and now everywhere I turn, I’m getting reminded of food – books, movies, TV. The irony of this is that I’m not actually hungry, but my brain is in the habit of eating, so I’m fighting the battle with a change-resistant brain. BUT I will be strong. I know that part of the reason I am feeling better is because of this fast, and I know that I have good and important repair work going on in my body. And maybe, just maybe, I will knock off some of the extra weight I’ve been carrying around as well. We’ll see. Clothing is definitely looser right now. But feeling better is the big win. The cough is on its way out.

If you want to better understand autophagy here’s a short video clip about it.

Yesterday I was reading Deuteronomy 11 because my app sent me a verse of the day from it.

Deuteronomy 11:8-9 NIV
Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, [9] and so that you may live long in the land the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.

I was really stopped in my tracks to think about this. God gives us commandments and counsel now to do things we may not always understand the reason for, in order to help us be prepared and strong for things that will come our way in the future. It’s easy sometimes, I think, to say, “I don’t see the harm in a little gossiping, or coveting, or _____pick-your-sin____.” But we don’t know if the thing God is asking us to do is designed to prepare us for a better life or to be able to weather a storm.

He asks us to choose to believe and trust him. He asks us to exercise faith. He asks us to be strong and of a good courage in doing his will. He asks us to be still and watch for his loving and generous protection in our lives.

So those were the thoughts stirred up by those verses. And then I read the whole chapter and realized that in this chapter, God tells the Children of Israel that half of them need to stand on top of a mountain – Mount Gerazim – and half of them need to stand on top of another mountain – Mount Ebol – and then they need to shout across the valley of Nablus the blessings and the curses associated with the commandments God has given them. It’s almost impossible for me to imagine over a million people on each mountain shouting across to each other. (How do you coordinate that? I found it challenging to even get 20 teenage girls to sing in unison by a lake!)

But the realization that really hit me was the fact that I was there. Four weeks ago, I stood on Mount Ebol and looked over the valley of Nablus. These stories aren’t just stories. They are history. They really happened in a place that really exists. What an amazing gift God has given us in preserving the Bible. What an opportunity to learn from the past how to have a good future.


  1. Our trials make us stronger….its true. Not always pleasant in the moment, but we can come out better for it! And that really is an awesome opportunity! Maybe someday I’ll get to walk where that all took place.

    Liked by 1 person

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