I get asked often if I am completely free, if food no longer has a hold on me. (Clearly, these folks don’t read the blog, see the videos, or listen to the Sound Cloud files! LOL!)
Honestly, each time I think I am “free,” a new layer is torn away, revealing a vulnerable “underbelly.”
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul tells about his astounding experience of heaven. A “thorn in his flesh,” a “messenger from Satan,” tormented him specifically to keep him from becoming conceited over what he saw. He even asked God to remove it.
I sometimes feel that way about my challenges with overeating–that it is my “thorn in my flesh.” If I had successfully lost 100 pounds and that was it–end of story, no more struggle–would I be conceited? Knowing me, yes. I know I would be much more “independent.” I wouldn’t sense so great a need for Jesus in my daily life!
Like Paul, I have asked God to remove this struggle. I get the same answer as Paul:
I love Paul. He asked two more times: “Are you sure, God?”
God’s answer stood firm–with an addendum:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.”
There is something about God saying NO to Paul that caused Paul to experience a greater grace, a greater power–specifically because of his weakness.
Isn’t that amazing? I love how “backwards” our God works.
The same is true for me.
His grace is sufficient for me.
Paul’s humble response to God’s “no” answer was:
THEREFORE, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
What a great response to a “NO” answer from God! (As opposed to the tantrum I have been known to have!)
Paul, in essence says, “No? Ok…so I will delight in what you have said is true, God!”
In our society INDEPENDENCE is praised. In the US, we celebrate today as “Independence Day.” I am thankful for the freedom in my country, but even while I am thrilled that we are an “independent” nation, I want to celebrate and declare my DEPENDENCE on a wonderful, kind, loving, sovereign God, the King of the Universe.
He uses my eating challenges each day to remind me that I need Him, to remind me that I am utterly dependent on Him. Not just for my eating and the food he provides, but for all of life.
Paul goes on to say that he won’t just boast about his weaknesses. No. He will also DELIGHT in them! He chooses to respond to his circumstances–his weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties–by giving God glory. Paul DELIGHTS in them. Why? Because they cause him to be totally dependent on God. He gets to see God’s power evident in his life!
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
He uses my eating challenges to reveal his power to me daily in my weaknesses, too.
Yes, today is a perfect day for ME to celebrate my DEPENDENCE on my God. I know that I can’t make it through any day without my God. His Spirit is at work within me to encourage me, enable me to resist temptation, to give me great joy and for a million other purposes. As I relish the privilege I have to be DEPENDENT on my God, I experience growth and peace that nothing else could possibly offer.
How about you? Will you celebrate your dependence on God today? How so? What are ways you know that you are dependent on Him and that he “shows up” for you? Share with us so that we might celebrate as well!
Heidi, I am in Kansas, on vacation, am supposed to be getting picked up in a few minutes for a huge family reunion and party, and I should be finishing getting ready, but just HAD to take the time to tell you this. THOSE, my dear heart!! THOSE words are some of the most powerful words I’ve ever read, outside of the bible! Once I’m back home I’m going to have to take lots of time to digest it all, but my goodness, those are POWERFUL words and I can SO relate!!! In fact, one of the things I’ve been telling the dear sweet wonderful new friends in Maquoketa is, “I’m grateful that I’ve had this eating issue and we all should be grateful for it, since that is what brought us all together, and now we have this wonderful bonding of Christian women that is taking place.”
Heidi, I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a blessed!!! Dependence day!!!!! I love it!!
Love you, too, my friend. 🙂
I enjoy the e mails so much. I have been thinking how God has used you in this area to help others. I am one of those others.
God is Doing a New Thing wrote: > Heidi Bylsma posted: ” I get asked often if I am completely free, if > food no longer has a hold on me. (Clearly, these folks don’t read the > blog, see the videos, or listen to the Sound Cloud files! LOL!) > Honestly, each time I think I am “free,” a new layer is torn away, r” >
Oh, Norma. Thank you so much for your kind words. God is amazing. He can do *anything* through *anyone*… I am convinced!
This was so good and was packed with so much power that revolutionizes my perspective on my weight and eating thorns:-) Thank you so much for your obedience in posting this. #GREATGODLYPERSPECTIVE
I spent my morning praying for our nation and friends, family, our soldiers. I’m greatful for our country FREEDOM and all the blessings God has blessed us with.
This is a wonderful entry – I am cutting/pasting to notes so that I will re-read it! Yes, I wish that I would be completely healed and just move on, but as I continue to struggle with various body image/food/drink issues, I find that I have to lean on God more and more. To walk in His freedom, I find that I must be in His word and call on Him more and more. So, it really does draw me nearer to Him and He to me – lucky me!
We are so blessed!
I thank you so much for this entry! Many times I have felt I should be done with this battle as I am soon to be age 52. I do subscribe to the blog. But have been extremely hard on myself for having this battle still. All this time….never looking at it as Paul and his affliction and just wanting ..,I guess quick deliverance. I’m I guess always the last to figure out what God is doing with me. Today I tearfully( in a good way, joyous way) thank The Lord for this affliction, as HE uses it to keep me close, I now realize HIS love for me even more! <3
Sunshine (love your name), I shed tears of joy with you. I, too, am grateful for all the good God is bringing into my life because of this battle I have, and expect it to be an ongoing, never finished war, until the day I die, but I also expect every day to be better than the one before. Prayers and blessings for each and everyone on this site.
Wow, Sunshinealldaylong. Thank you for sharing that!