I have prayed over and wrestled with this blog post for a while. I knew what I wanted to say, I just didn’t know how to say it. I pray that I use the right words as I tell about this journey.
So, I’m on this healthy living journey, and things are going good. I have lost 12.6 pounds so far, but I have a long way to go. It has been a struggle. Not just with eating right, but with getting active as well. Both are essential with making progress. I have finally figured out something that works for me on the getting active part. I have discovered that I love walking. I like to put some praise music on and just walk and talk to God. The other day I walked four miles for the first time EVER in my life! Yay!
I have been reading Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst through out this journey, or well, I guess I should say attempting to read it. The reason I say that is that there is one line in the second chapter that I get stuck on every time. I’ve read the first chapter several times. I get into the second chapter and come to this particular question in the middle of the chapter and I’ll close the book and put it away for a week or two. I just couldn’t seem to get past that question. It made me angry, furious. It made me hurt and cry. I know what you’re saying. “What kind of statement would cause you to do that? It can’t be that bad. What does she say?” The question was this…
“Is it possible we love and rely on food more than we love and rely on God?”
Ouch! Think about that for a minute. Do we love food more that God? Do we seek comfort in food more that seeking comfort in God? Do we go to our refrigerator or pantry looking for something to ease our stressed out minds instead of going to God in prayer and laying our stresses at His feet?
Remember I said the question made me angry? It did. My first thought at that question was, “How could she say that? I’m a good Christian! I don’t put food before God! That’s ridiculous! She doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I’m not reading this anymore!” Each time I went back to the book in desperation for answers to why what I was trying to do to get healthy just wasn’t working. And each time I would get to that question and I would stop reading.
Then the day came when I read the question and a flood of tears followed. No anger this time as the reality of the question hit me. I had been loving and relying on food more than I had been loving and relying on God. To me, food was my comfort, my stress relief, my depression stopper, etc. When I felt that I needed comfort or relief, I always turned to food. As this reality became clear, I cried. And, I continued to read. I didn’t put the book up this time. And I’m glad I didn’t, because I discovered as I continued to read, that my eating habits and food journey do matter to God and that it’s something He takes seriously.
See, God never intended for us to want anything or anybody more that we want Him. We can see that all through the Bible. Just look at the Israelites on their journey to the Promised Land. The whole journey is marked with occasions where they wanted something else more than they wanted God and His Promised Land. For one example, they put God to the test, demanding the food that they craved. (Psalm 78:18). It didn’t turn out too well for them. (Check out Numbers 11 for more about this particular occasion of the Israelites craving something else instead of God.)
So what’s the solution for all of this? Well, Lysa made a suggestion in her book that I think is a winner. When you feel like you are craving unhealthy things, pray. That’s right. Pray. Use your cravings as a prompting for prayer and allow God to slowly tear down the walls that seem to be blocking your way, walls of impossibility, resistance, hopelessness.
So I began to do this. And I’ve had to pray, well, …A LOT. Now I’m not saying that every time I have felt like I wanted a huge piece of chocolate cake that I have spent and hour praying for God to remove that craving and then get up and go on my way. I am saying that when I start craving something unhealthy. I take it to God. Sometimes , it’s while I’m standing in front of the open refrigerator wanting some ice cream but instead choosing an orange or grapes for a snack. Sometimes, I get to craving so badly that I do have to go sit down and cry out to God, literally. I’m talking buckets of tears, crying out to Him. And, ever so slowly, He’s helping me out of my addictions.
Yes, I just called my food habits addictions. It’s the truth. My bad eating habits truly are an addiction that I am asking God to help me over come. And He is. All I had to do was ask and begin to rely on Him instead of the food.
Now, don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I am not perfect and I don’t claim to have it all figured out. I still struggle daily. I still like a big ole greasy cheeseburger and do occasionally have one. But I don’t let that cheeseburger own me. It doesn’t determine my worth and it doesn’t have the power over me that it use to have, because I have decided to rely on and love God instead of my food.
Any one else been struggling with the same issue or something similar? Have you turned it over to God?
I know I’ve been very long with this post and I did ramble some. I hope that this is encouragement to someone. I pray for all of my readers and hope you all have a blessed day!