Fast Enough


I may not fast like everyone else, but the sacrifice still brings blessings.

When I was a child, fast Sunday was something of a burden. My little tummy rumbled all day long, and I could hardly wait for dinnertime when I could break my fast. By the summer before my sixth-grade year, I had started to gain a greater understanding of the principle of fasting, and just as I did, it happened—I got sick.

This wasn’t your average cold and flu, either. My body was acting very strangely, and no one seemed to know why. After four months and visits to countless specialists, I finally got an answer. I was diagnosed with a rare disease that makes me thirsty all the time and very sensitive to dehydration. Because the disease is rare, the doctors couldn’t tell me much about what day-to-day life was going to be like. I was simply given medicine in the hope that it would help.

So when the next fast Sunday came, I tried to fast from food and water, just as I had always done. Big mistake. Because of my disease, fasting from water even for a few hours makes me very ill, as I quickly found out.

I was very upset by this. “If I drink when I’m fasting,” I thought to myself, “it won’t be a full fast! I won’t be doing enough!” This thought troubled me for months. I studied scriptures about fasting and prayed about this problem a great deal. I also talked to my parents and Young Women leaders about it, but still I felt uneasy.

The answer came to me one fast Sunday morning as I read the story of the widow’s mite in the New Testament (see Mark 12:41–44). The widow’s offering was small in the eyes of the world, but the Savior accepted it lovingly because He knew that it was all she had. I knew then that my fast was sufficient because it was the very best I could do. The Lord wasn’t measuring my sacrifice against what others were giving, but against what I was capable of giving.

Since that day I have developed a firm testimony of fasting. I have learned that I must also study and pray while I fast so the Spirit can be with me. But most important, I have learned to always give my best, and that is enough. The Lord doesn’t ask us to give more than we have strength for (see Mosiah 4:27).

[illustration] Illustration by Scott Greer