Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins With A Single Step

Search me and know me O God, know my anxious heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24

“With men it is impossible, but to God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

I am looking down a short path to being 40 (March 23, 2012) and I am tired of looking and feeling like I do. It’s time. Yes, I’ve thought other times were ‘the time’, but this is different. I am finally acknowledging that I have no one to blame for this but myself. Any so called wrongs that have been done to me are well in my past and I have had EVERY opportunity to lay them at the foot of the cross and unburden myself. But I just got too comfortable with carrying that extra weight. I carried around all my past bad choices and stupid mistakes around like a big boulder. The weight continually reminded me of how many times I’ve failed. It’s exhausting carrying it around and then I realized I have the choice to set that boulder down. I don’t have to carry it anymore. So instead of beating myself up again with “How could I have let this happen?” I will be spending time craving God instead. I have discovered that I am physically overweight, but I am spiritually underweight and malnourished.

I just finished reading Sandi Patty’s book “The Edge of the Divine” and a paragraph from her book really stood out to me. “Weight loss is a journey that teaches you to act in a way that confirms what you say your priorities are. Your top priority is to love and serve God. To act on that priority, you need to choose actions that honor and care for the body He has given you, so that you are able to use it in His service. You also need to be healthy so you can use your body to cherish and support the wonderful husband, family and friends God has given you.”

My priorities…well they’ve lately been sitting in front of the TV, cooking good tasting but very unhealthy foods, and spending time on the internet. I’ve said that God comes first in my life, but the choices I make don’t reflect my priorities. I might have said that God was my number one, but my choices show that food has become my Comforter in Chief.

One thought keeps coming to me when I think of Jesus’ death for me. Jesus didn’t go through that ordeal so I could merely survive. He did it so I could have life and have it more abundantly.

I haven’t had much in the way of self esteem for most of my life. This is my own issue. Instead of seeing my worth in Gods eyes and recognizing myself as a child of God, I let the fact that my birth father wouldn’t acknowledge me tarnish my view of myself. “If your own father doesn’t love you, why would any other man?” So I dated like crazy starting in junior high. I tried so hard to stay skinny, because I didn’t see I had worth other than in how I looked. Sad. I went through 2 divorces before I finally realized the man God intended for me all along was there the whole time as one of my best friends.

“My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7

I am reminded of the story of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19. I want so much to be closer to God. God tells me in order to get closer to Him I need to give up the very things I crave (food) and come follow Him. But He wants me to follow Him with undivided attention. Mark 8:34 says “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

With Jesus, if I want to gain I need to give up. If I want to be filled I must deny myself. If I want to get closer to God I need to distance myself from other distractions. If I want to conquer my cravings, I need to direct them towards God.

God made us capable of craving so we’d have an unquenchable desire for more of Him and Him alone.

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