Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Being Satisfied

I am on a quest that is turning out to be a much more spiritual than it ever has before.

Being satisfied is sometimes confused with being complacent.  I've had 3 kids and my body is not as shapely as it once was.  Wait...back IS shapely.  Too shapely for my tastes in fact.  I'm a Botticelli painting in a Skinny Jeans world.  My goal is not to be a pair of Skinny Jeans, just healthier - NOT complacent.  The less weight I carry, the healthier my body is.  There are lots of reasons I could give you about why I shouldn't pursue this right now, but it has become more important for one reason.

The Lord doesn't want me continuing to carry the burden of this.  But it isn't the burden you are thinking of (meaning: the extra pounds).  The burden I'm carrying is thinking less of myself - way less of myself because my outside doesn't match my inside.  On the inside I'm being renewed, day by day.  But the outside is wasting away faster than it should at my age.  (2 Corinthians 4:16)

There is more: because I think less of myself on the outside, I can't enjoy everything He has blessed me with.  I spend waaaaaaay too much time focused on the various flabby rolls I've acquired and waaaaay too much time analyzing what I'm eating and drinking - or not eating and drinking.  Instead of doing what I know is right, I fret and worry and focus and shame myself into doing nothing.  Especially not enjoy all the good things in my life.

The really unhealthy part of me is my mind and heart.  My body is just along for the ride.

So me and my sweet friend Gindi have taken up our crosses.  Today is Day 5 of our efforts.  As we have bemoaned the measurements and refused to step on a scale (I don't have one here), I've realized the weight I'm carrying in my mind is much heavier than the pounds on my hips.

Lysa TerKeurst tackled this issue in her book Made to Crave.  Given the number of copies that book sold, it seems I am not alone.  We don't know how to enjoy God's creation, which includes our strong bodies.  We have forgotten that good choices are better than bad - which includes how we think about ourselves.

Freedom comes with a high price, but that price has already been paid by Jesus.  So, why am I sitting around crying about how heavy I am when He has given me a strong, able body to do something about it?  He has given me all the tools to rebuild this temple, it's just time to do it.  Lysa said this on her Facebook page yesterday,
Whether we’re trying to tame our emotions— or tame our runaway desires for unhealthy foods— or dig out from our financial messes—or get to a better place in our relationships, it is good to remember what kind of God we serve.  We serve a God who responds to thankful people even when we don’t see immediate answers to our prayers.  We serve a God who offers us the power to make the courageous choices.  We serve a God who is always working behind the scenes to make the unlikely absolute reality.  We serve a God who wants His people to follow Him and His calling.  We serve a God who wants His people to believe. Really believe. And live like we really believe.
That's the key - we have to LIVE like we REALLY BELIEVE in everything Jesus has ALREADY done for us.  I don't owe anyone a better body.  But I need a better mind.  The more I think about the negative, the sadder, more downtrodden I become.  That's why, in Philippians 4:8, the Apostle Paul tells us to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and/or praiseworthy.

It gets us out of our funk and ready for all God has waiting for us - the abundant life He has waiting.

I can't do this for anyone else but me.  I can't do it alone.  And I am not alone.  Victory, success and redemption are already there - whether I'm talking about my soul, my heart or my body.  God has His hands out with my heart's desire ready to be grasped.  I just have to reach out and take it!

The closer I move to freedom, the better I can love (the Lord, others and myself) the right way.  I can embrace this life, so chock full of blessings and recognize the purposes He has for the time I am here on this Earth.  I want to be satisfied with just more than what goes in my mouth - I want soul-satisfaction.  That's why I'm taking this journey with the Lord. 

Here is the theme I'm going to use, to remind me on the days I don't feel so good about it all, that working towards a healthy mind and body is satisfying.  From Psalm 107:4-9 in the Message:

Some of you wandered for years in the desert, looking but not finding a good place to live; Half-starved and parched with thirst, staggering and stumbling, on the brink of exhaustion.  Then, in your desperate condition, you called out to God.  He got you out in the nick of time; He put your feet on a wonderful road that took you straight to a good place to live.  So thank God for his marvelous love, for his miracle mercy to the children he loves.  He poured great draughts of water down parched throats; the starved and hungry got plenty to eat.

The goal is not to be a smaller size, but that is a benefit of it.  The goal is to depend that much more on Christ - the Bread of Life and Living Water.  He will satisfy my needs and I will be made whole, now and forevermore. 

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