When I gave up aspartame–the artificial flavoring that makes diet sodas taste so good–it was as if I had taken the lid off of Pandora’s Box…out came reality! I discovered that I had never dealt with an “issue” of mine…even through the year of steady weight release and the subsequent year of maintaining my new weight. I had a “thing” –a BIG THING– for sweets!
By the time I finally obeyed the Lord in this, I could guzzle down a 12-pack of diet cherry Pepsi easily in a day. And come up for air only to look around for more!
So, when I finally responded to God asking me to release this to him, I found myself rebounding back toward sweet foods…and realized that I had to do something…and fast!…or I would gain weight in a hurry! Not only that, but I could see that this was an area of BIG bondage for me! I was in captivity!
This, in a nutshell is where the idea to fast sweets for a short season came from.
In retrospect,this had a good affect…but also there has been a detriment. I am trying to figure it out now. While I was fasting sweets for about 10 days, I was at peace. I didn’t feel deprived or ripped off. It was wonderful. Of course, I knew the fast would end and I would then, I assumed, be “normal.” HA!
After the fast ended, I went bonkers. Nuts. Insane. Inhaling sweet foods like there was no tomorrow.
Ok…I have to get a hold of myself again. Lord? What do you want? Moderation in all things, right?
Yet this struggle has continued. A little stress entered my life yesterday and I found myself going nuclear in the kitchen finding all manner of holiday treats to toss in my mouth (not to mention that Michaela has been baking up a storm! EEEK! Someone SAVE ME!).
I know that nothing is wrong with sweet foods. I know that all things are permissible, but for me, there is a problem.
Thing is, yesterday, I found myself back into a dieting mentality mode that I hadn’t experienced in a LONG time. I was thinking of sweet foods as “bad” again…and given how I am prone to be a rebel…that was all I needed to want them all the more.
I know this isn’t what God wants. As my accountability partner said, I seemed to be at peace so much during the 10 days I didn’t have any sweet foods. I would like to be at peace with moderation of all things in my life. I would like to not have to make things “taboo” in order to manage them.
I have been debating about whether to fast sweet foods again or not…and to extend that fast longer…or not…and I must admit…after what I have seen as a shift in my thinking over the past few days, I fear doing that! I know the Lord will lead me…but this is ridiculous! When I first began walking this path faithfully in November of 2006, I didn’t feel this way about sweet foods. I could handle them in moderation. It was not a big deal. So what has happened? Well, eliminating diet sodas has! And presto! I am in kindergarten again!
The lesson in The Lord’s Table workbook this morning reminded me that food and drink are designed by God to point to Christ. Colossians 2:13-17 is the text used.
When I think about this…it is profound. My fixation, my desire, my longing for sweet foods…if I consider the sweet foods as only a shadow and Christ the reality, then all that I look to cookies, candy, ice cream (gosh, this is embarassing…you would think I could grow up!) to do for me…Christ is the reality. Those foods are merely shadows.
So when the stress hit me yesterday, I was feasting on shadows…trying somehow to quell the tide of fear and anxiety. Yet the fear and anxiety and stress remained…well, of course! I was feasting on the shadow. Scriptures SAY that JESUS is the reality. Had I turned to HIM with such eagerness, HE would have whispered “Peace be still” to the storm and totally satisfied my heart which was in an uproar.
If I longed for CHRIST as I long for sweet foods, if I ran to HIM as I have been running to sweet foods…I would experience the reality satisfying my yearning, rather than the shadow only making my longing so much greater.
If food and drink are shadows of Christ, why be consumed with the shadow? Why not enjoy the reality that they respresent? (TLT, p. 154)