Thursday, June 28, 2012

Do Not Give Up!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal. 6:9)
Recently, this verse popped out at me while reading a devotional. Weary. That’s it. That describes my feelings in the area of eating. Weary. Tired. Heavy-laden. Burdened. Sick of trying to “do good” . . . and failing miserably.
You could argue that “doing good” refers to works and helping others in the name of Christ. I am sure it applies. But at this particular moment, on this particular day, in my particular circumstances, food issues rose to the surface one more time. And I could not/cannot continue to ignore God’s prompting.
There are numerous reasons why I have not posted on this blog for a while . . . lack of time, lack of inspiration, a desire to pursue other interests, etc. But if I’m totally honest, I have to admit one of the reasons is the thought that I am a hypocrite. How can I coach, inspire, and encourage others to pursue holiness when I have given up? I feel defeated, resigned, crushed. Overwhelmed. And therefore . . . guilty!
I can list for you my “excuses” for eating improperly. I recite them to myself daily. At the top would be the amount of traveling our family does. It’s difficult to eat properly when out of town at track meets and softball games two to three nights per week for months on end. Add to that numerous trips in which we are gone for several days. I only recently thought of dragging along a cooler filled with apples, oranges, and cold water. But truth be known, when we stop at McDonald’s for something quick (and cheap—to fit our budget), I typically break down and eat a Big Mac instead of a grilled chicken salad.

My resolve to eat well (and in proper portions) has fizzled. The constantness (I know that’s not a word, but stick with me) has taken its toll. I’m exhausted. Beaten. Weary.

I confess I have been walking the fence, pacing the border (see my previous post), testing the waters outside of God’s boundaries. I have allowed Satan’s temptations to lure me away from truth. And the results are ugly. Inside and out.
Part of the problem is my thought that at some (unknown) point in my life I will reach the pinnacle. I will stand at the peak holding my victory flag saying, “I’ve won. My battle with food is over.” I will no longer have to pray about food. I will no longer have to watch what I eat because it will just come naturally. I will no longer have to remind myself to choose wisely. I will no longer have to tell myself to take only one helping. I will no longer have to rely on God’s strength. I thought I had come to that point. Instead I had just walked away because I didn’t want to be on the front lines anymore. And while I am still holding out for the time when eating well comes as naturally to me as remembering to brush my teeth, I have to admit I have not arrived. Nor will I ever hit a point in which I no longer need God’s strength and mercy and guidance.
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Gal. 6:7-10)
The above verses attest to the fact that we will not win by sowing to our flesh. We must rely on the Holy Spirit if we are to reap a harvest. We cannot give up. I belong to the “family of believers” and I am included in “all people,” so I have to conclude that when God admonishes us to “do good to all people” He means me too. I should not give up “doing good” to my own body.
There is a difference between giving up and giving in. Giving up implies resignation. However, God wants us to give in—to Him and His ways. Give in so He can carry us through.
Are you weary? Have you given up? What does that look like in your life?
What are you reaping?
Sowing to the flesh may reap: an upset stomach, a headache, a tired body, weight gain, sinus issues, high blood pressure, disease, guilt, depression, etc.
Sowing to the Spirit may reap: more energy, more mobility, long-term health, a better digestive tract, a leaner body, a healthier relationship with God, etc.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
In the meantime, I am choosing not to give up. I may feel defeated, but I am not. I may have failed in some of my choices, but I am not a failure. My weariness does not stem from doing good but from walking away. So today, right now, I choose to persevere. I choose to give in to God’s promptings.
How about you?