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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Hunger (11/08/04)

TITLE: Sizzling Sacrifices
By Kelly Klepfer


God and I have an interesting relationship. He tells me what He wants me to become through His word and our intimacy, and I struggle, argue, and finally, accept His will.

Fasting was a spiritual discipline that interested me. I wondered if I would ever feel spiritual enough to participate. World Vision’s 30 Hour Famine was my first adventure with fasting. As the youth leader, I could have ignored the flyers, but I thought it would be an interesting experience for the kids. We participated three times. The first time was awful. We whined, we complained, we debated on whether or not we cheated by chewing sugarless gum. The second and third times were easier. On my own, every once in a while, I felt burdened to give up a meal.

This was a comfortable arrangement. One day, while minding my own business at work, I felt/heard “I want you to fast today.” I told God that I didn’t think that it was a good day. He responded by agreeing to my request, with the suggestion of an upcoming 40 day fast. I wrestled until I was sweaty and out of breath. I ignored the request. I wrestled again. I got the distinct impression that I would be taking a step toward stronger faith if I participated and that He would set me aside in my comfortable life and stop pushing me as I had been asking Him to, if I declined.

I gave Him a condition, thinking that it might buy some time. I needed 40 days between my daughter’s birthday – October 11 and Thanksgiving. I probably should have checked the calendar before offering the condition. It fit perfectly.

I began training for fasting. I fasted one day a week, only one meal a day for a week, and ate smaller, simpler meals. My day arrived – I started by skipping my evening meal.

I was told that I would feel closer to God because I was fasting. I often did not. I grew frustrated several times because I didn’t have many uninterrupted sessions of prayer. As a wife and a mom, I needed to take care of my family, and though I had given up eating time, I was still shopping, preparing and cleaning up.

There were some valuable lessons that I took away from my 40 days with God. Every hunger pang was a call to acknowledge Him. I discovered that I could give up something as foundational to life as eating, and survive. I found that things that I had wrestled with - my concerns and fears - were non issues. The first 3 days were the roughest. My stomach protested, juice became too sweet, my body adjusted with strange complaints. During that time, I woke up with a dream still fluttering in my mind. I dreamt that I was stuffing myself with sweet, gooey Crispy Crème donuts, and that I cried out to Him in my panic, asking that He wouldn’t let me break my fast accidentally. I woke up knowing that He would protect and watch over what He called me to do.

One vivid blue Sunday several weeks into my fast, I grilled chicken. The sun was warm and a soft breeze ruffled my hair. The trees wore their autumn fashions. It was a perfect day. As the chicken sizzled and blackened on the grill, a realization penetrated my mind, like the aroma of the roasting meat saturated my emptiness. I thought of sacrificial lambs, scapegoats, and Romans 12:2.

“This is what your obedience smells like to Me.” I felt Him say. My deep emptiness was fed by the aroma of the sizzling meat and the realization of what that meat stood for in my life. My sacrifices were my comfort, my self sufficiency, and the burning up of my preferences. I began to understand how valuable my prayers, my obedience are to Him.

My 40 day fast seemed to last both years and a mere blink in the wrinkle of time. As I began to plan my meal to break my fast, the only thing I truly hungered for, craved and thought about…was bread.

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 11/15/04
Congratulations on the fast! I know how hard those long fasts are!

Good article, and great tie-in with the scripture at the end.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/15/04
Oooh, Kelly! What an awesome article! I also considered on writing a piece on fasting but am glad I didn't - yours takes the cake, so to speak! Great testimony, great writing! Thanks for sharing!
Blessings, Lynda
Cheryl Johnson11/15/04
Good article on a topic that's not often talked about, much less practiced. Interesting "food for thought" if you'll pardon the expression.
Lois Jennison Tribble11/15/04
Great tie in with your title and closure, and good insight detailing your struggle with God and His methods of dealing with you. It appears you were blessed by your faithful obedience, and we have been too.
DeAnna Brooks11/15/04
This piece left me with chills...for a long time. What I long to hunger for is Bread! I loved the line, " Every hunger pang was a call to acknowledge Him." This is a powerful entry - thank you!
Lucian Thompson11/15/04
Kelly, what a wonderful testimony. You took us readers along with you with your descriptive writing. Many blessing.
Mitzi Busby11/15/04
Kelly, thanks for sharing your heart. I appreciated the gentle reminders about obedience in your entry. Very good job.
Karri Compton11/15/04
What a wonderful testimony! And you wrote it so well. God bless you as you continue to obey Him.
Debbie OConnor11/15/04
Kelly, this is AWESOME. I loved every line, believed every word and was very moved. Great entry! Tremendous fast. I love your title too.
Deborah Anderson11/15/04
I liked your title and the way you tied this up at the end. God bless you.
phyllis griffith11/16/04
Lovely and intimate. And very, very real. A sweet smell offering, indeed.
Tesiri Moweta11/18/04
Reading your piece reminds me of my own intimate relationship with the Lord. i'm really touched by how the sweet smell from the chicken is how our obedience smells to God. That is awesome.
Thanks for writing.
Keep winning and shining for Jesus.
Betty Shattuck11/19/04
Congratulations on your successful fasts! I've not been very successful in that endeavor but recognize the spiritual rewards. Good writing - love the "sizzling chicken" part!
Phyllis Inniss11/20/04
Congratulations on your successful fast. It was well worth the sacrifice. Blessings.