This healthy living journey started out great for me. I felt so at peace in God with the whole healthy eating thing. Somewhere along the way, right about the time I got sick with a cold and I think the Made To Crave Action Plan Bible study was winding down, I really began to struggle and lose focus and peace. I have been facing various other challenges as well. Some of which I have not completely surrendered to the Lord.
Ah, surrender, such a difficult thing to do, especially for someone who in the natural (flesh) is a complete control freak. Over the years I have learned to surrender many parts of my life to the Lord. This does not mean I never try to pick them up again from time to time. But when I do, the Holy Spirit is there to remind me those things are in Jesus’ hands now.
There is one area of my life that I had never surrendered to God and never thought I needed to, before these M2C studies, my food. I have always had this pat argument/justification in my head in regards to those favorite “comfort” foods: “I deserve it!”
Ooh, ooh!! A new revelation was just given to me. I told myself I deserved my favorite comfort foods/treats, because I never really felt deserving of anything. It was a coping mechanism, trying to convince myself I was worth something. The irony being as I packed on the pounds I felt even less loveable than before. Hmm…I thought God had worked through all those old lies years ago, but since I had never surrendered my food to Him before, it has still been a place in my life that those lies could still touch.
Oh how I love food, especially certain foods of comfort from my childhood. It breaks my heart to think I may have to let go of them forever. But, in the end, it is just food. If I look at it as a choice between a peace-filled relationship with my Lord or that shoo-fly cake, or that pot roast, gravy, and potatoes, or….you get the idea. No sense torturing myself or you. What could be better than peace with the Lord? Nothing! That’s what I/we need to get into our thought-life. That nothing, not even our all-time favorite food is better than the peace-filled presence of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Practicing the presence of God is something I try to do every day. I talk to Him like He were a person in the room. I try to be mindful of every blessing and protection throughout the day, so I can thank Him right then. I also try to stay tuned into the Holy Spirit, so as soon as I do, or usually think something that I shouldn’t, I repent right on the spot.
The part I have trouble with is the sit down and be still part at the beginning and end of my day. I can be so easily distracted. More so in my own home than in a public place. Too many things that need to be cleaned or accomplished staring me in the face.
I have much better “God times” in a restaurant than I do at home. Parks/nature are good, too, though sometimes distracting, but those ‘distractions’ are the many little blessings in creation to remind us of how great and mighty is our God! I find nature a particularly great place to be when I need an encounter with my Creator to bring out praises in the midst of a life-storm. I start thanking him for the ducks, flowers, clouds… and before long I find much more personal things to praise Him for and begin to see my troubles from a new perspective. I guess we all just need to find that place (or a couple places) in which we can find that solitude with God, even if it is in the middle of a noisy restaurant.
So, as I continue on my journey toward healthy eating and living I know that as I progress in surrendering my food to the Lord, He can and more importantly will take these things – my cravings, fears, doubts, and turn them into strength, courage, and trust.
• Strength to take each step toward the goal (Philippians 3.14). Not just of being a certain weight, but of being healthy enough to do all the things God had planned and purposed for me to accomplish in my life. I want to hear “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matt. 25.21) when I am face to face with my Lord.
• Courage to fight temptation when it comes along (Joshua 1:9). Temptation does not have to become a craving. I must remember to wear my armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) every day. Making the time and finding the place to have my solitude time with the Lord helps me to put on that armor and practicing His presence helps me keep it on throughout the day.
• Trust that Jesus can take the pieces of my life and work it all for the good (Romans 8:28) of not just me, but for the greater good of His kingdom. Life is not always what we would call fair in this fallen world, but as we trust Jesus with everything we know that God’s justice will prevail in the end, because we know the ending (the book of Revelation).
Heavenly Father, I come before Your throne with all the readers of this blog and ask for Your help in surrendering any and all parts of our lives that we have not surrendered to Your authority. We ask also that we would be evermore aware of Your presence in every moment of our lives. We seek Your face (presence), Lord, not just Your hand of blessing. But we also ask for Your blessing and favor upon our lives. As we are blessed, may we freely bless others out of Your bounty to us. We give you thanks and praise Lord. May our lives bring You glory and honor. In Jesus’ name, amen.
If you would like to do more reading on surrender and/or practicing being in God’s presence check out two of my favorite books:
• Absolute Surrender by Andrew Murray (One of my all-time favorite authors on Christian living).
• The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
If you have never read these books I highly recommend them!
(Links are provided so you can learn more about the books. I am not affiliated with or paid by the seller).