Day 163: Just Food

I was recently having coffee with my friend Alice and we were talking covenant stuff. She mentioned that one of her struggles was that she felt the need to be strong enough to resist on her own. She said with a sarcastic note to her voice, it’s “just food”. She felt that she should be able to deal with “just food”.

And I have been really thinking on that a lot since then.

Cause really… she’s right. We so often feel a little extra dose of extra guilt because we can’t resist this stuff that is “just food”.

But as I have thought about it, a few thoughts have come to mind about “just food”…

Satan used food as the first form of temptation in the Garden.

Jesus performed his first miracle changing water to wine.

Christ compared his own body to bread and wine at the last supper.

It’s not “just food”.

And honestly, I thought and thought about WHY it’s not “just food”… WHY does it have more of a power than other things in our life?

And I’m thinking that it ties, in a weird sort of way, to our level of faith. Satan knew that Adam and Eve were provided every piece of vegetation in the garden except those apples (or whatever they were) from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And I think he played off of a small, tiny fear that has glowed in our hearts for all of time… the thought – the fear -  that we might not have enough. Not necessarily that we haven’t gotten to experience everything, but that deep down we fear that we might come across a time of… want. need. starvation.

And now I live in a time where most people in America live in a situation where there IS abundance like in the Garden. there IS enough for all of us. there IS plenty.

But we still have these images from the Holocaust. I can still remember stories of the Irish Potato Famine and the mass exodus that ensued. We see pictures pouring in from Africa, India, Asia, Russia of men, women, and children bare boned and sallow eyed.

And although we might grab another brownie it’s not typically because we are consciously thinking, “Oh, man, I’d better stock up on brownies tonight because we might all be starving tomorrow!” But in the ever increasing state of unrest in the world, it is more than likely in the back of our thoughts.

So, I wonder if much of this addiction and pull to “just food” is in response to our fear… and our subsequent need to control that fear.

But God has instructed us that food is now to become… insignificant. a non-issue.

I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:25-33

And He gives us a promise here… that if we run toward Him that He will give us everything we need. He doesn’t promise that we won’t starve, He doesn’t promise that we won’t be hungry, He doesn’t promise that we will even live. But He does promise to give us everything we need. And once we start to learn to trust that He will take care of us… then we can free ourselves from stressing over “just food” and then it can truly become exactly that… just. food.

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 117: HE WILL DO THIS

Okay so I have been feeling crummy for several days now… and for once I don’t mean crummy just physically but also spiritually. Like, something akin to depressed but not quite that strong. And I hate to admit it, but I think most of it stemmed from that dad gum weight thing, although it has taken me days to realize (or admit) that was the root cause.

But over the past day I have realized that all of my thoughts were centered around my weight. my lack of weight loss. my covenant blog posts. and then this morning to just plunk a nice big ol’ cherry on top, I weighed and had gained four pounds.

That was all she wrote. I was plummeting after that… what if this doesn’t work? What if God has abandoned me? What if I was wrong all along? What if I have failed?

And so I was so glad that today was a church day. I needed some fresh perspective. Some Word of God from… outside of me. Although I have kept on reading the Word through all of this, I realized today that I was reading the word with tunnel vision on: reading it solely for a Word about the covenant. about why I wasn’t losing weight. or about something I could use in a covenant post.

And there I was in worship, sangin and dancin… and the wisdom I have been praying for was right there. Not in a particular song… just in some truth written on my heart, whispered to me in the midst of me losing myself in praising Jesus for my salvation. A True Word From God…

I WILL do this.

And that was His voice saying that… not mine. HE. WILL. DO. THIS. I almost wanted to laugh there standing in the middle of the church. Haha- it was so simple. God and I had made a covenant… and I had lost faith that He could and would hold up His end of the deal.

I was thinking again that I could do it. That I could lose the weight. He just wanted me to realize that He is the one that has to do it. That He is the One who can do it. That He is the One who WILL do it.

And then, wanna guess what the Pastor spoke on???

Yep. Fear.

And at it’s core, that’s what I was… afraid. Afraid that God couldn’t, or wouldn’t, continue his work in me. But these two verses struck true with me…

But Moses told the people, (as they were about to have to cross the Red Sea) “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today… The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14

And here I have been wondering and worrying DESPITE THE AMAZING WORK HE HAS DONE FOR ME ALREADY… would He save me all the way? Worried that He would only take me 117 days in and then drop me? I’m so like those dadgum Israelites that He brought out of Egypt. I have seen this miracle in my life… recently… and yet I was afraid that God might not take me across the Red Sea? I was really afraid that He would change my entire life and then just dump me out for the Egyptians to come and slaughter me? or WORSE, take me back into slavery?

Nope. I just need to stay calm. stand still. and wait for the Lord himself to fight for me. to rescue me.

Cause He has.

Cause He can.

CAUSE. HE. WILL.