Separation from sin is a heavy topic that is laced with vinegar and honey. The vinegar is sour and tastes awful by itself. Sometimes when we are called to follow God He asks us to separate ourselves from the things that taste bitter. When we do this- separate ourselves from sin-God makes our lives sweeter with His blessing. The blessing is like honey to our soul. Sweet, sticky and golden.
Let’s talk about bees for a minute. My Dad used to keep bees down in the woods behind our house when I was a kid. He would get all suited up in his strange looking bee suit, gloves, face covering and smoker. This was his armor against stinging bees. If he didn’t wear it he took the risk of getting stung. The smoker was to put the bees in a sort of “coma” state without hurting them. All he wanted to do was check the honeycombs and retrieve the honey as needed. If he did his job right he was rewarded with honey and happy bees. If he didn’t wear his protective suit and follow the instructions of beekeeping- he could get into trouble. He was separating himself from bee and stinger which resulted in not being attacked by angry bees.
Now-the worker bee has many jobs according to it’s age. The young bees clean the hive and feed the larvae. The older bees do other jobs such as receiving nectar and pollen from foragers, and guarding the hive. Later still, a worker takes her first orientation flight and finally leaves the hive and typically spends the remainder of her life as a forager. Worker bees protect the hive and they have stingers on them that have barbs sticking out of them. When a worker bee stings an intruder it’s life has ended. One life=one sting.
Now I see the life of bees much like our own. We each have many jobs and as we age our jobs change over time. We grow up, we marry, we have homes & families to clean and feed! The parents take care of the home by working and providing the family with food and shelter. When the children leave the “nest” of the home- they “take their first orientation flight into the world. This could be college, marriage, moving away, whatever. If they aren’t in the home they have taken flight. As parents, we spend our time caring for and preparing our children for the world. We teach, we preach, we hound, we love, love, love, we praise and we pray for our children. We hope that we have done our jobs well enough to that they will separate themselves from the things that will keep them away from God. This could be anything. Like the bee suit we give them armor by teaching them God’s Word. We don’t want to send them out into the world without it. We each make the choice to put the armor on or not. That’s up to us. We will do anything to protect our family-even die. Jesus did this for us. One death. One life. Unlike the bee-we get to be resurrected with Christ when we die and live forever! There will be no need for stingers in heaven.
Ok-so where am I going with all of this bee and armor talk? Well, in the bible the Israelites were told again and again and again to separate themselves from the things that kept them from God. These were things like baal, sex gods, child sacrifice and the list goes on. They didn’t do that. Why? I don’t know-I guess it’s the same reason why we don’t today. It’s easier to sin than it is to do the God thing. Am I right? The problem with sinning is that it will catch up with you sooner or later. It did the Israelites. They lost everything.
But there was still hope.
I am at this point now. I have to separate myself from my sin of overeating food in order to get what God wants me to have and that’s a life that is all about Him. Oh, I have Him in my life, but not as fully as I could. I am a compulsive, addictive eater. When I was a young adult I was an addictive, compulsive drinker. I smoked and drank like there was no tomorrow. My goal in life was to party and I did. I am by no means bragging on this and it is very hard to write about because it is a part of my life that I regret very much. When you are IN it you often can’t see the mess until you are through it. It takes people to help get you through it and I thank God for those people-my husband is my biggest encourager and supporter. God has used him to turn my life around and show me that there is HOPE.
Issues. We all have them but it’s how we deal with them that affects our life. I haven’t fully dealt with mine until now. One of my issues is that when I was in High School I wanted to be an artist-go to art school and do the whole deal. I can remember this like it was yesterday….going to the junior high guidance counselor with my mom, for advice on what to take to get to that goal. The counselor said to me: “ well you have to be really good to make it so why don’t you just get a business degree.” Not long after that a Sunday School teacher who I respected very much, said to me, ” You have to be really good to make it-are you sure you want to do that?” So, all of these comments were planting seeds of doubt in my heart. I never got to my goal because I didn’t believe in myself. So I just sort of dropped out of the whole idea and went AWOL on college. Oh I tried it here and there and it was never the right thing, never good enough, etc., etc.. My self esteem plummeted to ZERO. My HS art teacher was an encouragement to me and he always left me notes and had a good things to say. He died of cancer when I was a young adult. I think of him often.
So, I became a drifter of sorts I guess. No real life goals-I was just there. I had a full time job at a department store and that was all I needed. That gave me money for gas, booze and cigarettes. I partied everynight and a lot of those nights I don’t remember driving home. I was lucky I even got home, lucky I didn’t kill anyone or myself. I knew which bars had happy hour on which night and how much money I would need to get drunk. I often carried beer around with me in my car, drinking and driving. How stupid is that? I am blessed to be alive. I was a compulsive, addictive drinker on my way to death or alcoholism.
Zoom forward to today. That was 30 years ago. A lot has changed in my life since then, but then again has it really? In some ways yes, but in other ways no. I still have a desire to get my college degree in Graphic Design but I think I am way too old to do that now. I will have kids in college soon and just can’t afford it. Always an excuse. I have attended 5 community colleges in 3 different states- never completing a degree of any kind. Still bouncing around. I have dreams about failing tests and being kicked out of college and to me they are very real. When I have them I wake up in a sweat and think I am actually in that place. But I’m not. I’m still in bed with no degree. I have a family to take care of now. Another excuse. I don’t smoke or drink anymore because God convicted me of those things a long time ago. Cold turkey-the power of God got me through it. But I still have compulsive addictive tendencies. Those never go away-ever. I don’t know how to make them go away except by prayer and separation and putting on the armor of God. Today those complusive addictive behaviors are aimed at food. I have the personality of ” do it all” or “do nothing at all.” There’s no middle road. All or nothing. I need a middle road. God is helping me find that balance by teaching me how to be more like Mary and less like Martha. I am a doer and I love to do, do, do. Why? Because I crave self esteem.
Wow. Did I really just say that? …gulp….
Blogging is like going to a shrink-very therapeutic. I wasn’t planning on saying that-it just came out. “Groan, sigh….pray…”
When I do things for others and they like it-it fills a need inside of me. Remember the guidance counselor who implied that I wasn’t good enough? Well-it’s filling that need right there. It’s saying, “yes, you have worth and yes, you are good enough.” Why do I need that when I have GOD? I know who I am in Christ and I know that He has given me these gifts and talents-just as He has you. We ALL have them. I am like Paul- I do things I don’t understand. I want to do the right thing, but I can’t do it by myself. I have used food to fill that void of low self esteem for years. It has finally caught up with me .
I went to the Dr. last week and had a reality check. I was having some problems and they had to do an ultrasound on my ovaries. When I went to get weighed the nurse quietly told me that I weighed too much for her machine and I would have to go to the hospital for the test. I was ashamed and humiliated and MAD. Not at her but at myself. I sat in my van and had to have a talk with myself. I could either go to McDonald’s and mow down some french fries ( because I am an emotional eater) OR I could go to Lowe’s and look at flowers ( and think about God’s creation.) I had 3 hours to kill before my test. This was an opportune time for the devil to convince me to keep thinking that I am worthless and fat or to do something different. Well, what I didn’t tell you was that that morning my friend texted me and she said, ” Lo carb starts today.” I texted her back and told her I was doing it too. So, knowing that I had an accountability partner in my friend, I knew I couldn’t eat no matter how much my emotional side wanted to. I sat in the van and prayed and cried. I called a few people-no one was home. I texted my friend-she was at work. I was alone in my mental misery in the parking lot of the Dr’s office. I needed that silence in order to hear God. He told me I could do it, to just go to Lowe’s and look at flowers, walk around, shake it off. So that’s what I did. A little while later I got a text from my friend that said, ” that was probably the kick in the pants that you needed. We’ll do it together.” I knew she was praying for me and I knew that I had to separate myself from my sin of gluttony.
It has been four days since that happened. My friend and I have held each other accountable, prayed and encouraged each other. We are both doing really good but I have to admit that yesterday was hard. I am a secretary and my job doesn’t require a lot of exercise-just rolling around on my stupid chair with wheels. ha. So yesterday was hard because I was sitting a lot. Plus it was like a “hump day” as far as the carbs go. Today will be better because I will be busy working at the kennel and at home.
The amazing thing about all of this is that I have since learned that there are several others at OOTBWC who are doing the exact same thing and are on the same page as I am. I don’t know what thier issues are but I do know one thing that God is in control and that He is forming a support group among us at OOTBWC. I don’t know what His plans are but I do know that they will be GOOD for us! How do I know this? Because Jeremiah 29:11-13 says: ” For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and NOT to harm you, plans to give you a HOPE and a future. THEN you WILL call upon me and I WILL listen to you. You WILL seek me and find me WHEN you seek me with ALL your heart.”
Today I am seeking GOD ( not food) with ALL my heart. We were made to CRAVE GOD!
I have also been blessed with a new friend who is willing to take a chance on me and help me market my art. I know that she will hold me accountable, encourage and pray for me to work diligently for God in doing this work. God has been preparing my heart for this time and I DO have worth and I DO have something that people need and that is GOD. It’s not about me-it’s about seeing God through my work. That’s all I want in this world-for God to use my hands and gifts to reach people for HIM. God desires for ALL people to come to know Him and He will do the convicting. All I am required to do is “follow Him” with ALL of myself.
To be continued….sweet blessings for your day-may they bee sweet like honey! lol
and….remember..WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!