Day 162: Big But

Time and time again, when people hear about my covenant they have either one of two responses:

  1. Oh my gosh… that’s amazing! I bet it is so great to do! I should do it too!
  2. Oh my gosh… that’s insane! I could never do that!

At first, I would just smile and say “Yeah” but then I started wondering why people thought that they could never do a covenant like mine. So, I started asking, “Why? Why could you never do it?” And it’s interesting… people saying “no” to the covenant have similar refusals that people refusing Christ have. They almost all start out: Well, that’s good for you…

…but it’s just that I’m totally addicted to Dr. Pepper (I get this one a lot).
…but I am a foodaholic and just can’t stop eating stuff.
…but I’m pretty sure that even God can’t make me skinny.
…but not eat bread?!!? What DO you eat anyway?
…but I have to have at least one piece of chocolate a day.
…but I’m afraid that if I tried then I wouldn’t be able to stick by it.

I truly, truly, truly understand those statements… and even more of them. I remember thinking how I could never be “broken” off my addiction to chocolate, that I would never be able to break free from eating, that restricting so much would allow me nothing to eat, that I needed at least one bite of candy or chocolate a day, and that if I tried to make a covenant with Him… what might happen if I failed? Or even worse… feeling like I knew that I would fail Him.

And I sometimes just want to shake people… to shake them so hard that the film of this world falls from their eyes. to shake them so that they remember that God is powerful. that God is MORE powerful. to shake them and remind them that OF COURSE they couldn’t do it… but that God can!

But I know, too, that it is all a journey we have to take. Oftentimes, we have to find that rock bottom before we can admit that we can’t do it. But then even more often it’s far scarier to think that God CAN. I guess because a trip with God into the unknown, into the risky, into the fray can be scary. It can be a bumpy ride… always with a wonderful ending, but a lot of times with a lot of turbulence along the way.

And you know, I went through a lot of those thoughts in between my Daniel Fast last June and my start day in January. Six months of questions. Six months of knowing that this was right but avoiding it… out of fear really. And I think of where I might be if I had just abandoned myself to His care. In a way, I missed out on six months of blessings… if only I could have just looked past my Big But.

You know what he wants; you know what is right because you have been taught his law. Romans 2:18

Day Eighty-Two: Damning Demands

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I sat down this morning before the boys woke up, cuddled up in my chair with my coffee (upgraded with a little unsweetened almond milk), and opened up my phone. I saw the Bible app on my phone (which is where I do almost all of my Bible reading these days) right next to my WordPress app.

Knowing that I was behind a day on my posting, I thought “Oh, I’d better come up with a blog topic.” But nothing immediately came to my mind. Now, mind you… this is all happening during the time that I have set aside for reading my Bible… not for blogging, but for some reason there are times when I… don’t want to. It’s usually when I have fallen behind on my reading and need to catch up several days worth (which is the case this time).

But luckily, I had no immediate thoughts of what I could write about, so I sighed and tapped open my Bible app.

I read a bit through 1 Corinthians 15, and then the next reading section was in Psalm 78… and here is what I saw:

They stubbornly tested God in their hearts, demanding the foods they craved. Psalm 78:18

Oh boy, was this ever a grab for me. Luckily the rest of my reading was in 1 Kings 6 and 7 which is all about building the temple, because my mind could not get off of that verse in Psalms. Not so much because it had the word “food” in it… although of course that is what grabbed my attention in the first place, but of the specific words and what they revealed to me about the condition of my heart pre-covenant (and sometimes the during-covenant).

I have tested God for years… not so much on purpose, but by just relying on other things to “save” me. And by thinking that being skinny was the end-all-be-all of life. As if being skinny would make all of my problems go away. To give you an example of how sick, sick, sick my heart was… there were times that I would secretly (and I mean secretly) hope for cancer so that I could be forced by chemo into losing weight. SICK! I’m so ashamed that I have ever had such thoughts, but part of this blog deal is to be open and honest. And if my cookie dough experience wasn’t enough to convince you that I needed help, then maybe that little tid bit of info might.

But the demanding part really got me as well… because I have had that kind of attitude with God for so long. As in, well, I’ll give up bread and chips and sodas… but do not ask me to give up chocolate. Seriously, cause I won’t do it.

Well, completely unbeknownst to me that it was happening, my “I won’t do it” turned into “I can’t do it”. And I found myself… not just wanting God’s help but needing it. having to have it. being unable without it.

And so, I guess this is just a reminder of how desperate my heart needed some… reconditioning.

And reconditioning it, He is.