If you’ve taken basic science or are a fairly observant person, you probably understand that living organisms require some source of energy/nutrients to sustain basic life. Consumption is necessary. Or you eventually shut down. So hey, we gotta eat. But somewhere along the way I got off the track on eating to sustain live and provide energy and turned it into something entirely different. My earliest memory of this is about 3rd Grade, but I’m told my weight problems started before then.
So let me back up. Or go foward then back up.
I have a heart problem.
My eyes are fixed on Jesus, but I’m learning that my heart might still be a little guarded. The question I had posed to me in my spirit today was, do you trust Me completely to truly be everything you need?
So before you jump on me that I had that question even come to me, or that I had to stop and think about how I might have let other things fill spaces that should be reserved for Jesus alone, just be on guard. Little idols hide in our hearts. They are everywhere, hiding in plain sight as good things. Until they aren’t.
A month or so ago when I said ‘enough’ and thought I would give up this food misuse by simply eating in a way that I thought honored God, I guess I thought I more or less had done the hard mental work. Pause now to chuckle. Okay, back? Last week though, after a month of eating between 1200-1300 calories, my scale wasn’t budging. (And yeah, I know, you’ll say I was eating more than I really thought. Talk to Snap Kitchen about that, because I didn’t do anything but put food somebody else made for me in a microwave.) Although I told myself it wasn’t about the scale, I was more focused on those numbers than that what I was doing we pleasing to God. I can tell you stories about me and the scale that would make you laugh, but really aren’t funny. We’ll save that for another time. No change in the numbers brought on real crocodile tears.
And Holy Spirit said, ‘your heart is sick.’ Well, you can’t argue with that.
Now to be clear, I have never tossed my gold jewelry into a fire and come out with a golden calf. But I have had some idols that have divided my attention. Let’s start with the the granddaddy of them all for me: acceptance.
Remember I said my weight problems started back when I was really young? Well, so did the beginning of my feeling a little lost in the shuffle. And for whatever reason way back then, I started gaining weight. That turned into me going from a fat kid to a fat pre-teen to a fat teenager to a fat adult. And here’s my perception of that from those around me: it was absolutely not okay. Not just healthwise, but it also made me unacceptable as a person. I was taken to doctors and weight watchers and clinics for B12 shots all before 9th Grade. I was not okay. I could go on and on. I college, barely a year after I became a follower of Jesus, the campus pastor told me God can’t use people “like you” because we have self control problems. I was 19 then. I was not okay. Not to myself, not to anyone else, and now not to God?
Food was the forbidden friend. It never let me down. Ever. Or at least I didn’t think it was because I didn’t see the damage it was taking physically and emotionally. When I was in Third Grade we lived down the street from a strip mall. I must have had birthday money or something, because somehow I slipped out from under the eye of the afterschool babysitter and walked down to the donut shop, bought a dozen donuts, and brought them back home. I sat in my room and probably had my first food high that day. Food never, ever made me feel unworthy.
I wish I could say that for a good lot of humans.
Years and years of this pattern. It’s an idol. I love Jesus. He is my Savior. I’m learning every day to let him be Lord more and more. But do I trust him to do what I’ve only let food do?
I have to try.