As I mentioned in my previous “Is this all there is?” blog post, the disciples lamented the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Disappointed that he was not coming as conquering king, being crucified as a common criminal was not on their list of ways to “win friends and influence people!” In fact, with their fixation on what they assumed was God’s plan, they almost missed the really BIG thing…the HUGE, ETERNAL thing that God was doing! …and that was that righteous, perfect, holy Jesus–God in the flesh–become sin for us so by embracing Him we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus’ coming to earth as a babe, living life on earth in the flesh, having a ministry for three years, dying on the cross and RISING again …. none of that was about setting up an earthly kingdom (much to their disappointment!). It was about something so beyond that!
Like those earliest disciples and apostles of Jesus, I often miss the point. I am so fixated on my body and wanting to look a certain way that I miss what God is doing through the times I cry out to him, through my sometimes weak attempts to obey him. I miss the fact that, through my continued engagement in this battle, He is doing a HUGE, SIGNIFICANT, ETERNAL thing in my heart. When I, day in and day out, struggle to surrender my eating to the Lord and strive to eat within godly parameters, but then look with disappointment at my body…”I still don’t LOOK the way I want to! WHEN will I finally be DONE with this? When will I be my ‘natural God-given size’ and stay there without struggling any more?” I miss the point. Plain and simple. This isn’t what it is about. This isn’t why Jesus has come into my life.
He isn’t here to be a “diet remedy that works.” He is about something SO much MORE!
At the time of Jesus, God’s focus wasn’t the Romans…he allowed them to continue to be in authority. This doesn’t mean he condoned it or condemned it. It just meant it wasn’t the point of Jesus’ coming.
Same, too, with me…Jesus has “come” into this aspect of my life. He has invaded my eating, my thoughts of my body, what I struggle with. He doesn’t condone or condemn my size, shape or physical condition. His point isn’t to make me thin, or, even, to give me good health…In fact, as uncomfortable as it may make me, these things may not even be on His radar screen.
While what I struggle with is nothing like being fed to lions or the oppression of the Jews and early Christians, nevertheless, looking back to that time in history does show me something of the character of God. It may be an uncomfortable aspect of the character of God…
If God’s point wasn’t to deliver the Jews (and later the Christians) from Roman brutality, but something else entirely…if he had a point on which he focused even while all these things that seemed to need to be fixed remained, isn’t it possible that my size or, even my good health, isn’t the point now either? That what IS the point is my heart? God has always been and, I believe, will always be about the heart.
If he allowed the Romans to remain in power and to cause such trials for the godly people of Jesus’ day and at the time of the early church, who am I to think that he will remove all my struggles from me…and make me THIN! Does God really care if I am thin or not? NO! He does care about my heart…that I allow my size to make me sad or to build pride…he cares about that. He wants my heart to belong 100% to him. It has never been nor will it ever be about thinness or physical health. He wants my heart.
This is the foundation of everything that I go through on this earth: God wants my heart. He gave His Son over to sinful man to be crucified, thus demonstrating that He is willing to do anything to get it.
God’s point in allowing my struggles with eating, food, body image, the abuse I faced in my childhood, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum :-), is my heart…to give it to HIM. To glorify HIM. To allow HIM to be my portion, my satisfaction. If I give any of my heart away to the hope of being attractive, thin, “whole,” or any of that, it is possible that I miss the point entirely…He wants it all. Therein IS my wholeness. Therein IS my sanity. Therein IS my rest, my peace, my hope, my healing–giving all of who I am to Him. This shall be my pursuit. This shall be my “resolution.”
Tomorrow I want to address the questions that I know this post may raise…like “What about being a good steward of the temple of God, my body, that He has entrusted to me? Doesn’t God care about that?” Hopefully, if you have followed this blog at all or know me from the Thin Within forums, you will know what I think about that! 🙂