The Fast I Have Chosen

The Fast I Have Chosen

From Chicken Soup for the Latter-day Saint Soul

The Fast I Have Chosen

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free . . . Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer . . .Here I [am] . . .

Isaiah 58:6, 9

It was the day of the final test before my five-month-old daughter Rachel’s scheduled surgery, and I wanted a miracle. I prayed that the cyst that made her head swell would disappear and that she would be happy and healthy again. I had heard of stories of answered prayers, of diseases that suddenly disappeared. Rachel was only a baby, and I couldn’t imagine why she had to go through surgery. I wanted a miracle, and I wanted it right then.

I decided I wouldn’t eat that day; instead, I decided to fast. It was my one last reach for God, my one last chance for Him to hear me and grant my petition. For the first time, I wasn’t fasting out of habit or because I thought I should. I would be fasting with a purpose, a real need. God would hear me; I knew He would. I was frightened at the thought of my baby undergoing surgery, but God would take care of that.

I went to work in downtown Salt Lake City with my baby daughter consuming my thoughts. I still felt uneasy and concerned about my daughter’s impending surgery. When it was time for lunch, I decided to go for a walk around Temple Square. I eventually found myself in the North Visitors’ Center. On the second floor I stopped and looked at the paintings depicting the life of Christ from Isaiah recording his marvelous visions of the Savior’s birth and earthly ministry to the depictions of the Savior’s crucifixion and glorious resurrection. I then sat in front of the Christus, that heroic statue of the resurrected Lord. I looked at the piercing in His hands, feet and side. I looked at His arms stretched open wide, inviting all to come unto Him, and I felt the Savior’s love enter my heart.

When I returned to my office, I pulled out my scriptures. I turned to Isaiah 58:6, 9 and read:

“Is not this the fast that I have chosen? To loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

“Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, ‘Here I am . . .’”

Then my burden was lifted. I knew that Rachel would have the surgery, but that the Lord would take care of her. His miracles were the surgeon and the hospital and all the technology that would help her heal. But a greater miracle took place in my heart: Fear was replaced by faith and acceptance. I had the strength to let go and let God do things His way.

My fast was complete. I called on God. And God said to me, “Here I am.”

Douglas Brown

More stories from our partners