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 110: Why Now?

Well, I had another little text-fest with my friend Alice today. And she posed the question:

Why wasn’t his love enough for me before?

I have often asked myself this same question. In fact, that question is what drove me to do the covenant in the first place. After finishing a three-week Daniel Fast last year, I was astonished at how easily I had withheld certain foods from myself that had been seemingly irresistible before. But before that, I had often called out to God and requested that His love and power save me from… food. from myself. from weight. from addiction.

But it hadn’t ever worked.

So, here was my response to her question as to why was His Love enough now?

Here are my thoughts… His Love has always been enough, but now you have committed to Him to rely solely and only on His Love. Before (at least for me) it was really just an “acknowledgement” of His Love.
But now, I am saying, “I believe that Your Love and Your Grace are so powerful that I will commit to sacrificing this food so that Your Grace and Your Love can change me without distraction of food.”

But each person’s journey has been sooooo unique. Soooooo different. The only “sameness” has been that Jesus has, and is, changing them.

I’m sure there is some thick theology about why this is helping so many of us to stand up to these strongholds that we have struggled against for years, but I am at this point with it…

When the blind man who has been healed by Jesus is being interrogated by the Pharisees…

He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” John 9:25