"Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."
Sunday, February 20, 2011
"IT'S NOT JUST MY PROBLEM"
I realize I have a problem. This is always the first step in overcoming. Realizing. The verb. The first action. To realize some thing is to grasp or understand clearly, to make real; give reality to; to bring vividly to the mind. A problem, any thing, matter, person, etc., that is difficult to deal with, solve, or overcome. My problem, also a verb. Binge eating. Too, I realize I have parked myself in this first step for a very long time now, coupled with perpetual cycles in leaving the lot of "realizing my problem", moving into the lot of "controlling my problem", only to find I've stalled again, then undoubtedly towed back to the first.
My difficult to deal with and definitely difficult to overcome problem has set up residence in my life for far too long. This should not be. 1 John 5:4 says, "For whatever is born of God "overcomes" the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith." The Bible testifies that I am an overcomer. By faith, through the precious blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, I have power to overcome. This is more than exciting. This is EVERYTHING! So why has it been so difficult to overcome my problem? I am, by nature, an inconsistent perfectionist. An "all-or-nothing" kinda gal. The IP that I fight is irritated by it's own oxy-moron. Not only in my eating habits but, other areas of my life evidenced this contradicting characteristic. There have been days when my energy and desire for a perfect home kicks in, only to find trailing behind, days when all is fine to let it go. My body too. Hours upon hours of cardio overload and self-deprivation with staunch food choices most always ushers days of poor habits, self-justifying excuses, and eating binges. Self loathing, unworthiness and guilt form plaque on my spirit. Left only to my miserable self time and again, ashamed, desolate. For decades I thought being perfect was everything. Led by powerful deception, I chased after this. The perfect everything. Perfect self, perfect home, perfect marriage, perfect children. Even a perfect walk with Jesus. My overzealous stride strives to do. To make it happen. In my own strength I can push. I can accomplish. I can succeed. This goes only so far. I hit a wall at the same speed. Drifting. Discontent. Disappointment. Fail. Succeed does not equal overcome. Especially in my case of binge eating. In trying to have perfect, I have exhausted myself. But, my Savior's constant love pursues, whispers. Be still. Be led. Be satisfied. Paul tells me that in my weakness God is made strong. Weak = Not in control. This is scary. What will become of me? Who will I be? What will happen if I give this up? Does He tire of my selfishness, my lack, my excuses? I know I do. With abounding compassion and mercy, God is willing to forgive. He has covered my multitude of snacking, binge eating, gluttony. Forgiven nights of empty boxes and crumpled bags. I see myself careless to presume upon His grace; a deeper problem to my problem. Beyond the Cheese-Its, the Oreos, mini pretzels, and bags of M&M's (or any chocolate, for that matter), I see my response. Continuous. Unbelieving. Unfaithful. Willful. Lies have closed my ears and calloused my heart. I have been led astray. "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything." 1 Corinthians 6:12. In my plan to not be mastered (controlled), I have become mastered. My heart cries out, "O, wretched woman am I!" No longer for my binging, but for my continuous rebellion, unbelieving mind, my broken commitment and willful desire to satisfy me. In my own strength, I am unable to overcome such folly. But, my true Master is the Lord, Christ Jesus, therefore, I am not overcome by my folly. I am encouraged. "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Yourfaithfulness."Lamentations 3:22-23 His grace touches my eyes. I see an inconsistent perfectionist. Surely, this is better than the full-fledged perfectionist I once was. Not nearly His finished work, but, there is fruit, all to His praises, His glory! I have learned to accept that the perfection worth having is in God's timing, by His making -- not mine. Today, I believe I am never left only to my miserable self; I am firmly held in the loving hands of an extravagant God who patiently, precisely whittles away at my imperfect heart. Today, I can be confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.(1 Philippians 1:6) And when the willing heart is made still before the Master Pruner and Gardener, all is well. Thank You Abba.