Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
– Jeremiah 17:14
In Mark chapter 5, Jesus is surrounded by a mob of people. In the midst of the crowd is a woman “who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years” (verse 25). She had tried just about everything and everyone.
In Mark 5:26 we see “She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.”
In her ailment, she had looked for healing everywhere that she could think of. She had spent all of her money and yet, ironically, she had suffered more and actually gotten worse.
Have you ever felt this way? The more you sought help and freedom from overweight and overeating, the more diets you experienced, and the more you knew, maybe even the more doctors you went to about this, the more found yourself actually in bondage to food, the thoughts of food, the lust for food and the inhaling of food when you weren’t hungry?
I have. After a year in the 1990s with a popular weight loss program, losing 100 pounds with a very strict diet and obsessive exercise, training for three marathons, studying to become a certified personal exercise trainer, I found myself with a worsened “heart condition.” Like the bleeding woman, I had looked to anyone and everything for healing *other* than the One who could truly offer it. My heart was attached to—obsessed with—food.
The incredible thing is, God can take these “failures” and our desperation and actually use it all. This bleeding woman had become so convinced that the only source for healing left for her was Jesus, that she knew that if she just *touched* his clothing, she could be healed! Now that is faith! Jesus sought her out. He wanted to see this woman face to face—not because he didn’t know who she was. He knew. He was God, after all. But he wanted to speak to her personally. In Mark 5:34, we are told what he says to this woman after she was healed: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
What marvelous words. These words He longs to speak to us! This very healing he longs to impart to us. Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! – Isaiah 30:18
But who are we looking to for our healing from this tendency to eat more than we need to sustain our bodies? Are we looking to Him? Truly? Are we seeking His healing? Or are we seeking the healing through any number of other methods? Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave. – Ps. 107:19-20
If He heals us, it isn’t at the expense of our souls. When the Lord saves us, we truly are saved. Let us turn to Him, focus on Him, praise Him with our lives. In that place we, too, will experience the rush of power into our lives that sets us free from our suffering!
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. – Hebrews 12:2
Lord, I choose to come to you today for the healing I need. I need to be healed of my tendency to turn to food to process my emotions. Conversely, I know sometimes I replace overeating with restricting and I turn to dieting to “save” me—as a functional Messiah of sorts. I choose to reject this tendency, Lord. Instead of either unhealthy approach, I want to view food as fuel and be set free from extra weight and over-eating. I want to be set free from needless restricting. I know you alone can work these changes in me. I come to you, Jesus. Amen.
Amen, Heidi! Sometimes, when I look back just 6 months ago, I almost can’t believe how much He has healed me! I’ve added today’s scriptures to my Truth cards.
I needed this today. I need to reread this everyday. I keep looking for other “saviors.” I’m feeling pretty desperate. I’ve been able to maintain a weight loss until the last year. As I approach menopause, the weight just keeps creeping up. I find that no matter what I try to do, I am obsessed with food. I would like to go back and work through some of the Bible study here, but time is a major factor. I know I need to make the time and so I am going to make a valiant effort. I have a long international flight coming up. This would give me something to do. =)
This study and renewing of the mind is so worth every minute that you spend on it! I have been healed from food and exercise obsession through the work that I have done here, prayer, and the amazing grace of God. I never thought that I would be free from the diet mentality, but I am! And as a side benefit, I have released weight. I urge you to give it a try. Life in freedom is so peaceful. Life in food obsession is quite the opposite. I’ll be praying for you :).
Also, think of the time you spend planning meals, preparing meals and worrying about food and your weight. You can spend that time on the Bible study instead.
Thanks, Carrie. I started working on it today. I’m going to take it very slow. The first journal writing on week 1 made me do some soul-searching. I’m tired of the bondage. In Heidi’s sidebar she wrote about Thin Within, “It is an approach to life–not just eating. It is surrendering who I am to the Lord, inviting him to invade my life completely. He becomes my sufficiency, my satisfaction, my strength. When I am excited, depressed, anxious, instead of turning to food,
I learn to turn to Him to satisfy the heart hunger.” I know I have a lot “heart hunger” right now and I am starting to take some steps to allow the Lord to fill it.
My heart goes out to you…Yes…he WILL fill it, but there are long gaps of time when he allows it to linger. I am in one of those seasons, too. I am taking my heart to him and asking him “Lord, what do YOU plan to do with the pain, wounding, scarring that I have?” I have answered that question for far too many years and it just keeps creating more problems. I am finally “getting” that I need to ask HIM…and wait with the pain.
It’s been a rough year with a lot of changes. BUT there is One Who never changes.
Yes. So true. The other thing that is encouraging me during my own tumultuous season is to fix my eyes on him. It doesn’t do me much good to know he never changes if I keep fixing my eyes on other things, other people, or the circumstances. So, I am trying to train myself (using truth cards for this helps me, too) to focus on HIM. It really makes a *practical* difference in the NOW! 🙂
WOOT! AMEN, Carrie!
It is so good to “see” you again here. Thanks for checking in! Menopause threw me for a loop, too. A crazy loop. But know that things will stabilize. My stable weight is now higher than it was before menopause, and I have had to be ok with that…something that has been challenging for me. But God has reminded me that I am old enough to let go of the ideal barbie body! LOL! In so many ways that is freeing! I hope that you enjoy the bible study. Let us know!
Thanks, Heidi. I read your blog regularly, but don’t comment often. I start the studies, but can’t keep up with the pace. I’m kind of disgusted with myself for not finishing what I start. I am committed this time to finish this study if it takes me a year! HA! I will be traveling next month and have to pack light, but the computer always goes, so NO excuses. =) I really don’t care about the Barbie body so much (well, maybe a little), but the dr. tells me I have high cholesterol and need to lose weight. In Japan, I’m considered obese. :/ In America, I’m considered slightly overweight. Most women here wear a size 0 or 2. Kind of gives you and idea of what kind of thought processes I am up against. HA!
That would be challenging. Just take the time you need with the study. I am convinced that the renewing of the mind is the key to experiencing life-long change that honors God and brings godliness home in a practical way. Let me know how I can encourage you. 🙂