Day TwentyPastor Randal Alquist
And now I want each of you to extend that same intensity toward a full-bodied hope, and keep at it till the finish. Don’t drag your feet. Be like those who stay the course with committed faith and then get everything promised to them.
Hebrews 6:11-12 (The Message)
The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment was a series of studies on delayed gratification in the late 1960s and early 1970s led by a professor at Stanford University. In these studies, a child was offered a choice between one marshmallow provided immediately or two if they waited for a short period, approximately 15 minutes, during which the tester left the room and then returned. The videos of these kids was so funny some would cover their eyes with their hands or turn around so that they couldn’t see the tray, others started kicking the desk, or tugging on their pigtails, or stroking the marshmallow as if it were a tiny stuffed animal, while many others would just eat the marshmallow as soon as the researchers left. I’m sure you’ve either seen the original or some version of it because it has become a classic example of how we act when we don’t want to wait for the better outcome but just want it now.
Have you ever felt as if you have settled for something less because you grew weary of waiting for what you really wanted? Yeah, me too. Patience, though, isn’t so much in the waiting, but more so about the attitude with which we wait. God is so rich in His giving, so extravagant in His faithfulness but we can’t expect it to flow the moment we open the faucet. There is power in the process of asking, the process of listening and obedience.
As we find ourselves in the midst of a fast we can start out with the best intentions and with an attitude that is willing to “suffer, sacrifice and be long suffering.” But then the moment comes where we realize it’s not easy, the excitement wears off and we find ourselves walking the isles of the local grocery store talking to ourselves like a crazed lunatic.
We know that patience in God is rewarding and that it is in the difficulty of the thing that we experience the breakthrough we need. Keep your head up and fight for the breakthrough that you are seeking, God longs for you to be in position for the blessing He has for you.
Father, help me to keep at it, to show my body that I am stronger than my urges and distraction. You are what I long for and I am willing to do anything to hear Your voice, to experience more of You on and through my life. Sustain me with Your Spirit and nourish me with Your presence that I might come to a better understanding of who You are. In Jesus name, Amen.
We would love to hear how the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting has impacted your life.
Start your weekday mornings off with a time of worship and prayer in the Sanctuary from 8:30am to 9:30am.