Well, here it is the Monday after vacation. I was dreading stepping on the scales this morning even knowing that I had been successful over vacation in not eating everything on the planet! haha! It wasn’t easy and I was tempted with every smell possible. Going to Gatlinburg for 5 days was a real test for me. Pastor Ty talked about the word “tempt” during his sermon yesterday-which was pretty awesome by the way! He said that the word “tempt” really meant TEST. Well, Gatlinburg was a test for me, that’s for sure! It sits in the mountains and it beckons people from every area of the world. It’s beautiful country and it’s like a tourist wonderland that has been dropped in the middle of the mountains. It has every food that one could want and some that you never even heard of. I really had to put the blinders on. Every morning I would get up with my coffee, sketchpad, bible and my audio book called “Redeeming Love” and would spend several hours on the back deck of our cabin, alone. I am an early riser and I love to listen for God in the wee hours of the morning. I know that this time was key to my success in the choices I made. No, it wasn’t easy, but with Christ I can do anything and so can you!
Pastor Ty preached about Abraham and Isaac making the trek up the mountain in obedience to God. God had asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. It was a test. But Abraham had FAITH and he KNEW in his heart that God would supply his needs and he did. Pastor Ty pointed out that as Abraham and Isaac were climbing one side of the mountain-the ram was climbing the other side. Neither could see the other, but God could see it all. His perfect plan, His perfect timing, His perfect will. He’s never late.
I love this part of our history. The bible is our story- it is a story of God’s redeeming love for His people. All people. Jew, Gentile, beggar, tax collector, widow, prostitute, gambler, liar, thief, wretch, addict, overeater. Not one person is left out by God. We do the leaving out ourselves. Our mind plays tricks on us to get us to think less of ourselves and we fall into that trap of stinkin’ thinkin’. Abraham didn’t seem to have any stinkin’ thinkin on his trek up the mountain. He made statements of faith and he focused on God’s promise to supply all his needs. He couldn’t see the ram-but he KNEW his God and He knew in his heart that God would provide! …and He did!
This morning I am overjoyed that I was able to climb my own mountain of test during vacation. One foot in front of the other. It’s not easy and God never said it would be, but every step brings me closer to my Lord, closer to the One who holds all the promises….His promises are sweeter and fuller than any food I can ever eat with my mouth. That taste is one that I am beginning to yearn for, to crave inside of my being. My journey isn’t about the number-it’s about the change inside of me-the change in my focus from food to God. I am learning to put God before the food and say to myself, ” Is this victory? How will you feel after you eat this? Are you really hungry? Why are you eating this? Is this good for your body? You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you-now trust and do it! You were made to crave GOD Donna!”
( I Am FREE!)
And so it is…I put one foot in front of another with every choice. I have to. If I don’t I will kill myself with food. I have an addictive personality and this is why I don’t drink. It tastes too good. Food tastes good too and I must learn discipline and control. My mountain is filled with brownies, ice cream, cookies, cake, pizza, chips, dip, hot dogs, yummy specialty coffee drinks topped with whip cream, donuts, macaroni salad, sausage biscuits and gravy and the list goes on and on. It is a mountain that I cannot climb alone and like Isaac carrying his wood on his back and Jesus his cross, food is my cross. I know that God sees the plan and that He is sending a new “me” up the other side of this mountain-one that is victorious and healthier. One that can run without breathing heavy and one that can put God before all other things and be who He made her to be. My load gets lighter with each step forward and when I reach the top I know that God will provide all my needs just like He did Abraham and Isaac. I imagine that Abraham felt this in his heart and soul-I can feel it too. It’s different this time-this is God’s plan for me-not mine. It is becoming a yearning and it is a humbling experience. I have realized that I had made food my god and not God. We are to have no other gods before us-only the One True God, Father in Heaven, Creator of All, Redeemer, Healer, Savior and Lord. I am learning how to think, act and eat with God first. No, it’s not easy and yes I have let myself have things-but in moderation. This is key to success. Yes, have a little, get a taste, then move on. Don’t let the pan of brownies be your meal. It’s a daily struggle, sometimes minute by minute. But I know I can do ALL things with Christ’s strength. Ask, seek, knock and He will answer.
In the fall I have been asked to participate in a presentation for a women’s group. it is called ” A walk in my shoes…” I’m not sure what I am doing yet but I know that God is my guide and that this journey has something to do with that presentation. I have felt it for awhile and God is is compelling me to move forward with every step-to trust in Him and let him do the leading.
So this morning I am thanking God for His leading, his supplying my needs and for always being there to help me up this mountain. My scales showed a loss and my heart sings for joy! With every step, I lose a little bit of me and gain a little bit of God. It doesn’t get any better than that!
I love you Lord!
My sweet Lord….you are all I need!