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:
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!