There wouldn’t be as much realism and encouragement in talking about highs if there wasn’t any recording of the lows. For a good, decent stretch, I honestly, truly sought God – and then something really crazy happened:
Sometimes you seek God and you get closed-lined by an iron base-ball bat. Now just visualize the aftereffects of laying there rolling back and forth holding your nose because, “Boy, oh boy, did that ever hurt…”
Maybe a lot of you can relate to this:
You seek God. God is working in your life. And then you kinda just throw it all away. Have I thrown it all away? I don’t think so, but there is just something so bitter and vile about when you actually taste God, love Him more than you ever have in a long while, and then you go back and take another deep swig of sin and depravity and it tastes so much worse than you ever remembered – and yet, it grips you harder than you remember as well.
On a side-note, I think I sugar coat a lot of my past and view it all through rose-colored glasses. Yeah, high school was one of the most growing times of my life, but I distinctly remember, before leaving for Ellerslie (which was the summer before going to college), typing a gmail journal entry to myself explaining how wretched and sick I am, and how desperate I am for a miracle in my life.
Call me Pendulum. By God’s grace, I’ve swung pretty far to the right before, but man… have I ever swung far to the left… Of course, there’s no use in anybody putting a laundry list of sins and failures up for the internet to see – actually, on second thought… no, here goes nothing –
Diet. I struggle with DIET! And what’s frustrating is that I can’t mention that to friends when they ask how I’m doing. If I say, “not well” they’ll ask, “what’s going on?” and if I say “my diet is going off the deep end” 90% of the time all of my friends look at me funny and say, “dude… you look fine.” NO. YOU DON’T GET IT! Gluttony is not determined by the aftereffects of what it makes you look like. Gluttony is knowing you’ve had enough, and the Holy Spirit whispers, “Okay, back away,” and you keep on eating and eating and eating – even to the point of saying to yourself, “Hey, you’ve got to stop. You’re hurting yourself!” but… you keep on eating… and eating… and eating…. for comfort… for encouragement… for dopamine… for addiction… for hopelessness… for self-pity… etc. Lack of discipline is a struggle that you rarely find a friend striving against. And every now and again what I’ve told friends is this: sometimes I see people who are extremely overweight and I empathize. By all outward appearances, I should be where they’re at, but I’m not… and that almost makes me feel guilty. (And of course, there are sometimes circumstances which are causation factors which are sometimes outside of our control). Because, I deserve to be in the same boat. And part of why I keep on striving in this area of my life is because if I don’t strive to have discipline now, fast forward 10 years, and I will be where they are at.
Now here’s a very important point I want to nail to the ground: a person’s health / state of being is not personally defined by his or her weight, but rather the current, longterm lifestyle which they adopt and determine to never let go. If a person commits to eating healthy and exercising regularly, c’mon, it’s only a matter of time before appearances follow suit, even if it takes years to fully express itself.
*deep breath* That was a long tangent. I need to bring this full circle.
Diet, for me, is like a litmus test for how dependent I am on God. Am I choosing Him to strengthen and comfort me, or food? And often times, this is the tripping point which sidetracks me from God. Fact: we can’t escape food, so it’s in those moments which I need to make the decisions which set the course for what next decisions I’ll make. And before I know it, my lack of discipline has let me slide in a state of lack of prayer, thankfulness, contentment, and sharpness of mind to recall the Word and cry out to God for grace to not let “small” sins slide.
The Gospel has to be the centerpiece of our lives.
I don’t feel like praying, but that means that I need to go to God and spend all the more time with Him in prayer. I’ve lost the desire for His presence, but that just means I have to cry out to Him all the louder and stay until I don’t feel like staying any more, and then keep on remaining still before His throne.
The truth is that we are in Christ. His blood has washed away our sins, Jesus thank You. The father’s wrath completely satisfied, Jesus thank you. Once Your enemy, now seated at Your table, Jesus thank you.
The truth is that we are heirs of the king, and He will never give up on us. He has literally predestined the believers of the church to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and we can take that to the bank and rejoice.
I may be a pendulum swinging far right and far left… but praise God He is always beckoning me as He alone enables and empowers me swinging far right.
Proverbs 30:8-9, “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.”
Ephesians 1:3-4, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”
Ephesians 6:13, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”
1 Corinthians 9:26-27, “I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”