God’s Grace and Peace to you this day!
I took a quick trip to visit my Mom and Dad in NC on Monday and Tuesday of this week. While I was there I met Ibraham, the Home Health assistant that comes in for 3 hours every morning to help get my Dad up, bathed, dressed and into his wheelchair. Ibraham is a big man from West Africa but he is kind and gentle with my Dad and both my Mom and Dad appreciate him very much; and so do I. It was a beautiful day so Ibraham took Dad out for a walk around the neighborhood and I went along. When we returned, Ibraham was hot and sweating and I offered him something to drink. He said, ‘no thank-you because I do not eat or drink from sun-up to sundown during Ramadan.” Ibraham is Muslim. I said, “not even a glass of water?” He said, “no, thank-you.” I was truly amazed. I could not imagine working all day, he starts at 7 with my Dad, and not having even a drink of water till after sunset. We talked a bit about his commitment and he ending up saying something about having only 28 more days to go. For 30 days of Ramadan, Ibraham neither eats nor drinks from sun-up to sundown. I began thinking about how hard it is for me to fast for even one day and was convicted by his dedication to Ramadan.
I do not believe that not eating and drinking adds anything to what Christ has already done to bring me into the family of God, but it did make me wonder how often I am willing to be inconvenienced by the Gospel. How often do I put myself aside and give a little extra because of what God has already given me? How often do I willingly give up my comforts to make a statement about how much I love Jesus? It made me think. How might considering 30 days of a specific spiritual discipline draw me closer to God and grow me as a Christ follower?
How might you be willing to inconvenience your life for the sake of the Gospel? Perhaps something for all of us to ponder.