Hope Discovery of the Day:
When we lack the willpower to change, God shapes our will and supernaturally empowers us if we ask.
Scripture of the Day:
“If you find honey, eat just enough– too much of it, and you will vomit.”
Adam and Eve started the battle with the flesh and it began with a simple piece of fruit. Today the trend continues by people mastered by Twinkies, chocolate or greasy fries. What is it about food that causes us to cave to our craving?
God gave us foods to enjoy – so many, but in my ingratitude, I longed for the “forbidden” fruit that has wrecked my health. Don’t get me wrong – some of the “forbidden” foods would actually be deemed healthy by many, but as I sought to understand the health issues from the multiple autoimmune diseases I am afflicted by, I realized that they were forbidden to me.
Confession: Craving food and indulging in the wrong foods has been a problem for most of my life. There, I said it. I have had momentary victories over food but still gravitated toward my “comfort” food, because, hey, I “deserved” it. Now I ask myself, “deserved what?” Deserved to feel sick and be in pain from poor choices? Deserved to indulge the flesh because . . .? Why?
The battle is in the mind.
Our mentality with food is the greatest obstacle we have to overcome. We need to debunk wrong thinking with truth. But we also have to be willing to let go of what we desire to gain what is better. Somehow we become deceived when cravings are given full reign. We tell ourselves that discipline with eating is self-denial and that it is unnecessary. We rationalize and compromise and food becomes our master unless we have a paradigm shift.
Maybe what was thought to be as denial is actually gain. Consuming foods that look and taste delicious but that also destroy our health is self-hatred. Choosing to avoid those foods improves our health and attitude.
Just trying to avoid what we crave only makes us crave it more. And if you have ever struggled with the dieting treadmill, then you know it is not as simple as just stopping eating behaviors that have been ingrained. We can lack the willpower to change bad habits or maybe our health is already so poor that we just don’t have the strength or energy to make some of the changes. That’s ok. Baby steps.
To just remove the food that piles on pounds and destroys our health is a recipe for failure. We need to replace the displaced food with something that improves health but is also pleasing to our palate. God gave us taste buds, after all. Sometimes having a plan laid out for us can help when we just don’t feel able to follow through.
One of my daughters and I have been doing a diet together – not to lose weight, but to get healthy. (Now I don’t mind the side benefit of dropping a few pounds, but that was not the reason this time). We were desperate for solutions to help with the daily pain we lived with. We were willing to take a radical step to rid our lives of the pain that limited us. And the diet is working. But we also realized that we needed to not be so strict that we would be tempted to eat food that would harm us, either.
Food was never meant to be our Savior, never meant to be our consoler. God is. I recognized that I used to think of food or a delicious frappe as a reprieve or a treat that would help make me happy. Humbling to admit, but bein’ real here. Now I see that food fuels the temple that God has given me so that I am fit for service for Him! Choosing to savor God’s word and optimal health that is achieved from denying bad cravings is far better than savoring food that harms my health.
Are you feeling crummy? Like there is no way you can overcome the tidal wave of poor health? God amazingly made our bodies that they are able to heal. When we lack willpower, we can find it in His word. We can gain strength through prayer and accountability. Partnering with my daughter has been a game changer for me. Finding someone who is just as committed to changing their eating habits will help to motivate us. But more than that, we need to keep in front of us the truths behind food and the lies we are dispelling. Pain has served as a ready reminder to me. What motivates you? As the pain started to leave me and pounds started to drop, this motivated me even more.
I did not realize that the daily pain that dulled my existence was largely aggravated by food. Maybe you don’t, either. There is a way out. When we lack the willpower to change, God shapes our will and gives us and supernaturally empowers us if we ask. When we feel like we cannot change, our unchanging God can help us. Our cravings are transformed in the hands of God. But we have to choose it. It will be worth it.
The diet I am doing with my daughter is called the Autoimmune Solution Diet. It is challenging at first, but she and I have taken turns making some of the food. Whatever diet you choose, do it for the right motivation and ask God to help you overcome. He delights to help us in our time of need!
Lord, thank You for giving us food to enjoy. Help us to be wise in our food choices and to know how to care for our bodies so we might serve you well.