Saturday, March 4, 2017


My struggle with my physical body has been going on for years.  Much longer than I would prefer. My weight has been up and down, my exercise has ranged from normal to why would you do that, and the emotional consequences for each of these have taken their toll.  As I have navigated this road, different resources* have been divinely placed in my path to teach me something.  Some have come and gone, others have rotated back around, and some seem to be the ones that God is whispering Pay attention.

Along with resources, some people have have been used to inspire and motivate me properly.  When I say properly, I simply mean with proper perspective.  If at any point you are trying to get in shape to turn heads, you might need a heart check.  I have been there.  My motivations have been the worst of the worst.  And I can say with certainty, God is not going to bless effort that is based on the wrong things.  And He shouldn't.  It's not good for you or anyone else involved.

But what God has been teaching me recently is that this is never about the scale, the number on the tag, or how I look in a bathing suit.  This is about me, my heart, my mind, my health.

Yes, God wants me to be healthy, but healthy for me.  What that looks like physically on me is going to be different than what it looks like physcially on someone else because we are each made uniquely. The goal should be to have a healthy weight for my frame, regulated blood sugar, normal blood pressure, and energy to do the things He is calling me to do.  Anything beyond that is of me, not Him.

But as I wrote yesterday about going to God daily for what I need, I think this extends way beyond what I thought.  God can certainly give you something to do for a season but I think for some of us, with me standing at the front of the line, this needs to be about a daily determination to ask Him what's best.  I have multiple 'programs' that I could use to exercise.  They range from twelve weeks to four weeks, from ten weeks to three weeks, multiple dvd's for whenever, and the self paced when you know you're ready to move on.  But restrictive adherence has generally left me bored and some days what's on the schedule just doesn't feel right.

As I did my reading this morning, two verses that are in many ways unrelated, hit me with fresh perspective, and a third gave clarity to what I had prayed about before I read.  The first was in Ephesians, the second in Revelation, and the third in Romans.

First, Ephesians 2:10 talks about the works God prepared in advance for us to do.  Knowing where I am, it made me realize this extends beyond what He wants me to do as His child but also includes how He expects me to care for myself, depending upon Him for direction.  My best work will always come as a result of excellent maintenance to ensure I am in optimal condition to work.  That means caring for my body properly with movement, nutrition, and adequate rest.  #PalmToForehead

Second, Reveleation 19:8 talks about fine linen, bright and clean being given to wear and that the fine linen stands for the righteous acts of God's holy people.  So, the nerd perpetual student in me, pulled up the interlinear Bible to see what defined a righteous act.  Strong's #1345 says: a thing pronounced by God to be righteous; a judicially approved act; and act God approves, focusing on its result.  #HeavenHelpMe

At this point my head is trying desperately to wrap my mind around what I'm reading in response to my prayer for direction.  But as I read the meaning of righteous acts, I kept hearing Romans 12:1-2 repeat in my heart.  The verses that talk about our bodies being a holy and living sacrifice and our minds being transformed to test and approve God's good, pleasing, and perfect will.  You know, the one He prepared in advance.

Then the reality of all of this correlating information converged.  God truly does care about the details, nothing is too trivial for Him to be involved, and more than anything, He wants me to be completely dependent on Him for everything.  And the white knuckles on my hands are evidence against me that I haven't surrendered all.

I will freely admit that this type of daily direction is going to be completely new for me.  I don't know how I am going to 'hear' or 'know' what I am supposed to do.  But this cross, the one that I keep drawing on my wrist, somehow is serving as a reminder that sacrificing my need for control is truly going to lead me into the freedom I have been desperate to find for a long time.  And either I trust Him to lead me what He wants me to do, or I don't.  And maybe it will be from one exercise to the next more than one complete workout to the next.  But considering He's the one holding the owner's manual, I can only assume that what He says will be right and won't lead to a major malfunction.

Father, this is one area where I have wrestled with you for years to maintain control.  And time and time again, You have lovignly tried to stop me, put restrictions on me to teach me something, or taken me out of the game to give me the rest You desperately wanted me to have.  And my stubborn, persistent heart has fought You, found ways around You, and ignored You.  But You never give up and for that I am thankful.  Help me to learn what this type of surrender looks like from Your perspective not mine.  Help me to delight in what Your desires are not my own.  And keep my eyes fixed on You, my perfector, not perfection.  I pray all these things in the mighty, restoring, and powerful name of Jesus.  Amen.

Made to Crave by Lysa Terkeurst
Cross Training Devos by Michelle Myers
The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp (the inked cross)
Devotions for a Healthier You by Katie Farrell

No comments: