For years, Ashleigh-Anne Hughes and her family have prayed for another family they have never met. At the age of 30 – after launching into adulthood, a career, a family – Hughes was on a waiting list for a liver transplant, hoping for a generous donor who changed her life after months of waiting. For each of the last three years, on the anniversary of her transplant, Hughes has written the same simple letter of gratitude and mailed it to Tennessee Donor Services for forwarding to her donor’s family. Though she hasn’t received a response, she continues to pray and write – and to promote the importance of organ donation.
“I am only here because someone else isn’t,” said Hughes, now 34. “Every single day when I see my scar, I remember. I will not forget that I’m only here because of that gift, and that I’m just thankful that I had another year of being a mother, another year of being a wife, of being a friend, all these things that wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t gotten what I got.”
Romans 12: 1
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Paul is telling us, that because of what God has done for us, we know get to put our devotion on display for the entire world to see.
Just like Ashleigh receiving a liver transplant outside of her control, we have been given salvation outside of our control. Her scar reminds her daily to be grateful for the gift of life.
What reminds you to be grateful for the gift of salvation?
As we seek God together during this fast, our devotion to God is because of what He has done. We get the opportunity to “Give Upward” with our fast and daily prayer. Becoming exactly what Paul intended when he writes “present your bodies as a living sacrifice.”
During your fast, you will be tempted to quit, if your giving up food, your body will be hungry, you may get headaches, and you may even feel tired. Remind yourself daily of your WHY? The reason you fast is because you desire to “Give Upward” with all of who you are in order to get closer in your fellowship with God and with each other. This denial of our needs in order to pursue after God represents Jesus the Son of God, putting on the flesh of humanity in order to seek after His fallen creation.
As we begin this fast, I am excited to pursue after God intimately, and continue in fellowship with my brothers and sisters.
Heavenly Father, I am grateful that as I “Give Upward” in my devotion to you, it is only because you have sought after me first. As I recount the limitless things that you have done for me, I seek reverence you with all that I am and all that I do. May I serve you with the truth of Scriptures, always seeking to glorify your name. May this bring me closer to you and closer to my brothers and sisters.
I ask all of this in the wonderful name of your son Jesus.