A Call to Fast

Have you ever had something so unexpected happen in your life that you just can't eat? Have you ever thought of that feeling as a call to fast? I never had until recently.
I had always seen what I call “planned fasts”, where an individual or church makes the decision to fast and pray over something specific. I am in no way saying “planned fasts” are not good or effective because I have seen results that they are. I am only asking you to consider if there are or should be “unplanned fasts”.
I won't get into the details of what happened in our lives to cause my “unplanned fast”, but it completely turned our world upside down and shook us to the core. No heads up, no warning, just BAM!  I know all of you reading this can probably relate. I remember when it happened I was doing a study on Nehemiah and had just gotten to chapter 9:9-15.  This is in the middle of a prayer remembering the Exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and the 40 years of wondering in the desert. I was in the desert and in need of persistent communication with my Father through prayer.  My need to eat was overcome by my need to pray. That day I began my longest fast…thus far.  The unbelievable part of it was, the more I prayed and sought the Lord, the less hungry I became for food and the more hungry I became for Him. Was my sadness, bitterness, and anger instantly replaced?  Absolutely not! I cried out day after day in complete confusion to Him but just like the Israelites, He always heard my cry and came to my rescue.
Since the fast was unplanned I had no clue as to when I was suppose to end the fast. As a few days passed I had received a concerned message from a relative pleading with me to stop the fast.  They were just loving me and concerned for my health, but God was not finished yet.  I did pray that day and ask God to show me when it was ok to eat.  I knew God had called me to this fast and He needed to be the one to tell me to eat.  It was a few more days when the Nehemiah study took me back to chapter 8:10 “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  
Now I realize this verse is not referring to getting up and eating after fasting, but God made His word applicable to me that day and spoke very clearly to me telling me to “get up and eat”.   At first I could not believe the words I had just read.  He said it was ok to eat but I still wanted more of Him.  I learned He is truly my strength when I am weak even so much so to not feel my weakness.  God revealed so much to me during this fast that I will not soon forget.  Next time you are hit with something completely unexpected that you can't eat, I challenge you to answer God's call to fast. You will not regret it!!