Two little letters and yet powerful enough to bring both peace and destruction to our lives. And not just to us but to everyone around us!
I woke up this past Sunday with a stabbing pain in the back of my head just like I did last weekend. No, not like a hangover headache. Trust me, I know exactly how they feel and I do NOT miss those mornings at all! Not just because of the physical pains associate with them but also the emotional pains, which were worse for me. Whenever depression and anxiety took over I couldn’t wait to have a glass of wine to calm the monsters in me. Only to do it all over again! This was more than a bad habit, it had become a prison! But praise God, that mountain has been thrown into the sea of forgetfulness! Oh, how my heart breaks for those with this particular struggle. You see them everyday I’m sure. At work, at church, dining out, they all seem to be so happy, but believe me it’s a prison for them as well. Most are just going through the motions of life, but there is no real peace deep down in their soul.
Now back to my headache. For the past month or so, I’ve been eating good, walking, and drinking lots of water or seltzer with lemons and lime. I’ve felt stronger when going up the stairs and doing my daily chores. Even in writing and talking I ‘ve seen the positive effects. In other words, I made choices to eat well and the results were: I began to get healthy again, I had energy, clarity of thoughts, strength, and optimism for each new day!
But…vacation time came! Even before I got there, the inner self (old nature) started to yell at me, “Let’s eat!!” You all know how that works. It’s a downward spiral for most of us. For me, it starts with my favorite snack, an apple and peanut butter. Before I know it, I’m at Chick-fil-A eating waffle fries and a vanilla shake, with lots of whipped cream!
After two weeks of poisoning myself, I’m waking up with these terrible headaches. “Sugar Hangovers” I call them. If only I had exercised self control! If I had made better and smarter choices and eaten things like fruit (minus the peanut butter!) and other low sugar foods, I would not have to start all over again! It’s like I’m at the bottom of this mountain of bad eating choices, AGAIN!
For many of us it’s like we climb up to a certain point. We know it’s good and we feel stronger and healthy in our body, mind, and spirit and then we are so easily willing to forfeit it all. What the heck?! Why do we give away our victory over and over again?! Why do we allow all of our hard work and great efforts to be sabotaged?!
Well, I asked God, as I always do, but today I felt something different. I felt led to get my Bible app and go to the book of Proverbs. Not knowing exactly where to turn to, I selected chapter 23. Honestly, I had no idea what I was about to read. But my friends, this truly is one of the ways that our God speaks and teaches us!
I was sitting there and, of course, it was one of those jaw-dropping moments with God. I love when Jesus makes sure that we understand what He is telling us. Now just to be clear, I’m not drinking veno (wine), as my father use to call it, anymore. LOL That’s another story for another time.
God is so incredible and there is never confusion with Him. He loves us and cares about the things we care about. And just like any good Dad’s advice to his daughter (or son), here is the next Scripture He used to speak to my heart.
Another way to understand the obedience spoken of in this Scripture passage is to think about a rich man who is having a party or large event at his house. He gathers his staff (cooks, event planners, etcs) and lines them up. After he gives them the plans and instructions, he then looks at them with that look, that says, “OK, now please go and work and do exactly what I’ve asked of you to do.”
This is how God speaks to me. He’s wise, gentle, loving, and so caring. He really wants me to succeed and have the victory over the areas in my life that I desire. But, I must choose to follow His instructions.
If I (we) obey His instructions, there will be victory!!! I’ve had many so far, but I need more. So, here I go again. I will begin the climb up this particular mountain in my life. We all have many different mountains that Jesus says we can cast into the sea. In other words, conquer.
I pray that we ALL have victory this week over at least one of our mountains!