Testimony: How God grew my hunger
"I had another problem, an even greater one than I thought I had..."
Jaime Cole, one of our regular Riverlifers, shares about when she'd 'fallen asleep' spiritually and how God woke her up again.
Words: Jaime Cole Published: 20 February 2023
2021 was a difficult year for me. This isn’t unusual, of course, as life is full of difficulties for us all. But for me, this challenge was different in that for the first time, the difficulty related to my top priority – one of my beautiful kids.
You would think of all people, Christians are most well-prepared for such trials. We have a Saviour! The all-powerful son of God! When He was on earth, the gospels describe Jesus compassionately intersecting the lives of individuals, powerfully delivering them from their present sufferings, and offering them eternal life. So, being a born-again, church-attending Christian, you would think that at the onset of this trial, I would call upon the Lord as an old friend, trusting Him for powerful and loving help in my time of need. Unfortunately, though, this was not the case. This is because, almost unbeknownst to me, I had another problem, an even greater one than I thought I had… I had fallen asleep.
There is a beautiful song that reads, “sometimes it takes a mountain, sometimes a troubled sea, sometimes it takes a desert, to get a hold of me”. There is no truer description of my position than these words, and in my desperation, I began to earnestly seek God. Searching God’s Word, I took courage from the accounts of Jesus compassionately helping people in his lifetime and felt comforted by the many promises God has given to us. But, despite the hours of prayer, my situation didn’t seem to be changing. But then I came across the scripture, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always” (Psalm 105:4). I became aware that my intense pursuit of God was actually self-serving and saw that I needed to entrust this problem to Him, then set it aside and seek his face.
The Holy Spirit began to radically pull back the veil from my eyes and I could see the state of my life. Through the lens of the Parable of the Sower, my life reflected the crop choked out by thorns – a Christian aware of the truth, filled with the Spirit, growing to maturity, but not yielding any grain. Jesus reveals these thorns to be the worries of life and the deceitfulness of wealth. Somewhere along the line, I had been both deceived by the delights of wealth and distracted by the worries of this life.
I knew that I needed a stripping back of sorts, and so I started a fast – I stopped wearing makeup, taming my (wild!) hair and wearing earrings. Initially this felt incredibly exposing, and though such a small sacrifice on the surface, was extremely difficult for me to do. But the powerful reality was, in fasting from these things, I had stopped investing in the immediate (my wealth and worries) and had started investing in the eternal. As I stopped satisfying my hunger with the world, I started hungering after God.
The small taste of suffering that I was experiencing within my own family gave me a sensitivity to the suffering of others and I began to understand the depths of sorrow that others encounter on a daily basis. I saw people in desperate need of a powerful, loving and gracious Saviour. And I saw me – a Christian purposed to fill this gap by mourning with those who mourn and carrying their burdens to God when they can’t do so or don’t know how to.
This humbling season of fasting lasted 10 months and was difficult. At some points the fasting almost became a distraction to me. But with time, I saw that the fasting served as a tool to humble me, and in a humble position, I was able to receive God’s abundant and overwhelmingly good grace to hunger after him. Fasting, humbling, grace, hungering. Like all things, the genesis of hungering after God is with God. I am too spiritually poor to seek God on my own accord.
I’m so grateful that God knows all my weaknesses and they are fully and only overcome in Christ. For me, it was the deceitfulness of wealth and worries of life, that stifled my purpose and my fruit. God gave me the gift of fasting as a conduit to hunger after him. I am so thankful and give Him all the glory. And what of my problem? By the grace of God, I am becoming more able to call upon the Lord as an old friend, trusting Him for powerful and loving help in my time of need.
Jaime Cole has written this testimony as part of the Motherhood Podcast Series, which is a special series on Riverlife’s Going Deeper podcast – click here to listen to the podcast series.
To read more devotions and encouragements from mothers and women in our Riverlife community, visit the Riverlife Women Instagram page and Facebook page.
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