Spiritual Practice

Ice Cream Fast

Juliana Jones

My family is addicted to ice cream. Yet for Lent one year, we decided to give up our beloved, sweet, creamy dessert. We knew that fasting from ice cream would be like torture for us, but we were determined to make this small sacrifice for Jesus as a reminder that he had given his life for us.

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen? . . .
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter?”
Isaiah 58:6a, 7a (NIV)

I’m not going to paint a rosy picture. Lent that year was difficult; but we made an effort to replace the times we normally ate ice cream with times of prayer, which brought us closer together as a family and drew us closer to God. We also decided to give the money we saved to the poor, who probably seldom get to eat dessert. God was asking us to grow in solidarity with our less fortunate brothers and sisters as well as in our relationship with Christ. The money we saved by fasting added up to seventy-five dollars; but the Lenten practice of fasting, prayer, and service was worth far more than we had imagined.


ACT ON IT: Are you addicted to ice cream? soda? fast food? chocolate? Lent begins this Wednesday. Consider fasting from your favorite tasty treat and giving your savings to charity. Do the math; the blessings multiply quickly.

—from devozine (January/February 2012). Copyright © 2011 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.

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