When I was a baby Christian I had a list of things I wanted in life. The first two were:
1.) Lose weight
2.) Find a good husband
Well, here it is, 20 years later and those two things are still on the top of the list but now I am 70 pounds heavier than when I first wrote those goals down.
This year I have tried 3 different diets each one completely different from the other. One was a low-carb, high fat, high protein diet so I cleared all the bread and cereal and peanut butter out of my house. But I could not reach ketosis for one reason or another and just could not sustain the restrictions. So I switched to a low-fat diet that used points. I had to constantly be thinking about what I was eating and planning meals and keeping track of everything but I was annoyed at some of the point’s values for some things. 2 crackers were 4 points and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter was 5 points. Next was another diet based on diabetic exchanges. Again fail.
Well, I started to consider why I kept failing from a spiritual point of view. Like anything in life that could be considered a giant – I sought the Lord for why I have had no success in losing weight.
I started with the scriptures. I pondered the reason that Jesus said, “Give no thought for tomorrow – what you would eat, what you would drink and what you would put on.” I began to see that my constant dieting was making me fat. I decided that I needed to put a stop to all the planning, all the weighing and measuring and guilt and condemnation and the daily routine of standing on the scale and seeing no results or worse – the slow creep up. To remind myself that there is a spiritual reason we are not to be constantly thinking about this stuff.
But I really began to see - like the above verses – that I would never be thin until I stopped seeing the fat in others, a very bad habit that I did not even realize that I had. Don’t get me wrong – I realize that those verses are talking about spiritual matters and I get that – but I also know that sometimes these things still apply in the physical realm. I realized that my obsession with my weight translated into an obsession with the weight of others. Just as I hate the fat in myself – I hated the fat in others and it was usually the first thing I noticed about them. I suppose part of it is our culture and the way we equate beauty with being skinny, which is unfortunate, but that does not excuse my part in it. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. I needed to stop hating fat and stop hating my body.
So these were exactly the things I was agonizing over in my mind when I went to hear Clyde Pilkington and Martin Zender and Sean Marting teach in Colorado Springs. The very first teaching – given by Clyde – was a reminder that the Lord created us just the way we are. That we are flawed by design – and reminded us of the verses in Jeremiah when he went down to the potter’s house and made something on the wheel and then marred it in his hands and then made a new vessel. I realized that I am fat by design. I always suspected that it was God’s will for me to be fat because God knows how boy-crazy I am and if I was skinny and cute I would not be able to resist the attention I would get. I felt that my fat was somehow armor – protecting me from carnal men. But as I sat in the conference I thought, Oh my God! What if it is God’s will that I will always be fat? That I reach 400lbs? World record fat lady!? I couldn’t shake the idea and I started to cry.
There were some women that talked to me at the break and they really helped me to feel better.
The next teaching was from Martin Zender. He taught that the first three verbs in Genesis set the pattern for all things. The first one is Created. God Created the earth and it was very good. The next one is became. The earth became without form and void. Yes, I know that some people try to say that Satan came down and ruined it. I say, scriptures don’t say that – that is just a tradition. Since the potter is the one who mars the clay – most likely it was God that caused it to be without form and void. The third verb was moved. (Actually Martin called it vibrated instead of moved, which was very intriguing to me.) God moved and made it a better earth. Martin taught that it was the pattern throughout. Joseph gets the vision of ruling over his brothers – then he gets sold into slavery, wrongly accused of rape, spent some time in prison etc. then finally raised up. Abraham, Moses, Jesus, us. It is the same in any story written. First the introduction of characters – then horrible stuff happens to them – then they overcome in the end.
Then Clyde taught on our freedom in Christ. Our liberty! He talked about how Paul talked on two specific subjects to re-iterate our freedom; eating and respect of a holy day. As children of God – we have been given freedom from ALL bondage by Christ. He used an example of a city dog on a chain always straining to be loosed and when he finally gets free he runs all over the place. But a country dog – you can’t get him off the porch – he has the freedom to go where ever he wants but he just hangs around in one spot. It is the bondage that makes us do the things we would not do. The minute you say, don’t think about monkeys – that is all you can think of.
Ironically in Romans 14 – he that is STRONG in “the faith” (that faith that we have been freed from all bondage) believes he can eat ALL things – but he that is weak in the faith – eats salads. Oh. My. God. Really? Was it really that simple? I realized that being Fat was bondage – but the world’s solution to being fat – dieting and exercise – was ALSO bondage. But I am made free by Jesus Christ. So like anything else – I must put it in the Lord’s hands.
Just like when the Lord told me to quit my job (have no income) and learn to trust that He would meet all my needs – the Lord is telling me to stop dieting and let Him be in charge of my body – Trust Him to deliver me on whether I will lose weight or not because the Lord LOVES a good paradox. He that loses his life shall find it and he who eats shall become skinny. Nothing is impossible with God.
Lots of love