“… if we admit our sins—make a clean breast of them—he won’t let us down; he’ll be true to himself. He’ll forgive our sins and purge us of all wrongdoing.” I John 1:9 (The Message)
I have been disobedient lately… not willing to surrender my will to what God wants for me. And I’ve been miserable… both physically and spiritually. As I have continued to refuse to submit, my body has borne the brunt of it. While my actual clothing size hasn’t continued to increase, I can feel the difference when I walk, sit, exercise – just live. And while I hate the changes my body has been making, I still continue to give in and eat what I know God is telling me to put down.
It’s not that food is bad. What God is telling me is not necessarily what He’s telling you. It’s a heart issue, a surrender issue. And honestly? I’m not sure what I’m not willing to surrender to Him. The food itself doesn’t taste that good. I want God to be in charge of my whole life, so why do I continue to rebel?
To make matters worse, I was winning this battle last summer and so I have those mile markers from a year ago to compare myself too. This time last year I was down another size and fitting into… (clothes that don’t fit anymore). This time last summer I had… (fill in the blank with another goal achieved). And those voices aren’t helping.
This morning I woke up after having failed yet again yesterday, the first day I committed to a fasting lifestyle. However, God allowed a few different thoughts to run through my brain that I thought I would share with you.
God is getting my attention, pure and simple. He has been patiently, lovingly, consistently using friends, blogs, sermons, etc. to tell me I need to repent and get back on the right path. However, even during His consistent messages, and at times rebukes, He continues to bless me as His child. He’s not condemning me or inviting me to obey because He wants me to live this miserable life. Even as His messages have had to get a little more neon billboard for me to really pay attention, He’s doing it for my own good. That’s right – His agenda is to help me, not harm me! He continues to try to get my attention because He loves me!
Second, I decided today (after making one more major change in our household that should help with success) that instead of shaming myself with the negative changes I now see in my body, I’m going to thank God for them. What? you may ask. You’re thanking God that you are heavier, bigger and have more work to do to get your body healthy in addition to fully surrendering your actions? That just seems like a lot of work.
Yes, it is going to take hard work, but I’m choosing to thank God for the body that looks back at me in the mirror and the body that I notice when I walk and sit and get dressed. That body reminds me of how far I’ve fallen. It’s a physical reminder of what happens when I choose not to repent right away and do things God’s way the first time. I’m choosing to let it remind me of how far God will go to get my attention out of His love for me. And if I learn that lesson in addition to the sweet taste of complete surrender just because God wants my food, then the hard work of obedience is worth it.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017