there's a chill in the air now, leaves have turned and store shelves are prominently stocked with sugar, spices and pie filling. it's baking season. which also means stretchy pants season.
i've actually been behaving myself, praise the lord. until we had zero trick or treaters show up and were left with candy for an army. unfortunately, i am a small army when it comes to candy. i impulsively threw it all away. i realize there are other less wasteful options for leftover death-by-sugar, but trashing it was my only way out. why am i so weak? i truly need jesus, and see that need more and more in these "small" areas of my life.
with thanksgiving feasts and cookie exchanges fast approaching, i need to make plans immediately. plans to be aware and plans to think before i eat. when i'm aware of my weakness, i can make better choices and decide to control myself with food. the lord has not seen fit to completely remove this food struggle from me. he has shown me more of himself. i have weeks in a row of awesome control and dependence on him, but then i have other weeks when i teeter on that edge of overdoing it. the shame is powerful and tempts me to just let myself go. it's too hard to fight sometimes! thankfully, grace is bigger. jesus' power is greater than shame, he covers my shame with his healing mercy and forgiveness. he offers me more chances to trust him to lead me to level ground.
being free in jesus doesn't mean "living easy in jesus". we may be meant to walk with that limp every day we're on this earth. we need him all the way to glory, and sometimes we have very tangible ways of seeing our need. sometimes i get all mixed up. sometimes i want the freedom more than i want christ himself. it just won't work, friends. there is no true freedom outside of him. with him though, the burden of your sin rolls off your shoulders and into his hands. again and again, he will take it from you. confess, repent, repeat. don't let the enemy shame you into feeling like a failure because you fight sin in your life. fighting is not failure. scripture speaks of the armor of god. suit up! tell the devil to go to hell and press on. you're an image bearer of the prince of peace. you're lovely in his sight, robed in his righteousness. nothing you do or don't do measures his love for us, it's already been laid out. full and free, by his grace.
i'm making a fresh commitment. in the midst of these favorite holiday times ahead, i want to make wise choices. i don't want to constantly be watching what i eat at every meal, or being scared of myself losing control and hiding with extra food. i want to make choices like praying more, reading more scripture and giving more. that means worship.
my issue isn't food. it's a worship problem. my heart and body desire something above jesus. when i address the real sin(misdirected/self worship), the symptom sin(overeating) will also be taken care of. i know that when i shift my worship focus more intentionally toward the lord, my desires to obsess and indulge in everything else (especially overeating) will cease. i can only worship one thing at a time. let it always be jesus.
blessed be the lord! for he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. the lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and i am helped; my heart exults, and with my song i give thanks to him. the lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed. psalm 28:6-8