relevant: having significant and demonstrable bearing on the matter at hand; affording evidence tending to prove or disprove the matter at issue or under discussion. (Webster’s dictionary)
Shirley was empowered in her job working as a human resource officer for a prominent company. Her husband was a local celebrity. She enjoyed all the food she wanted. Life was good. Until her husband left her for another woman, and she lost her job as a result of medical complications that were exacerbated by her obesity. This is how she tells her story.
I used to live my life waiting to find a way to beat the system. (God was the system.) I didn’t ask for much. I just wanted to be able to sin and get away with it. But sin has a way of eating at your heart with a silence so deadly you sometimes don’t even know it’s happening until you are almost consumed.
That was me. After hundreds of attempts to lose weight and control my life, I thought I would get my weight problem under control and come to feel better about myself and then everything would be peachy-keen.
God had other plans. He planned to rescue me from Egypt. That all sounded well and good, but I had no idea that between the good old hometown of Egypt and the wonderful Promised Land that I longed for, was a scorching hot, almost unbearable desert.
I remained there for a long, long time with nothing in sight but more desert. God took that opportunity to hold a mirror before me so I could come to see the depth of my sinfulness for the very first time. You see, I thought it was just a weight problem, and maybe I just needed some self-esteem. But God began to reveal to my heart that my problem was that I was living in complete deception and had been my whole life.
I guess we all spend some time on the edge. I’ve sort of lived my life there. I kept thinking that I could always change later. But God brought me to the end of myself and I was completely sickened by what I saw. It was the first time in my life that I could not find anything in that mirror but a reflection of filthy rags. What a horrifying moment that was for my self-centered heart. And what a liberating moment it was as God accepted me right where I was, asking nothing but that I put my complete trust in Him.
Somewhere along the line I started to long for Jesus more than I was afraid of losing control of the food. He had proven Himself faithful, and I began to trust this God that I used to fear with all my heart. At the point I finally gave it up and left it at the foot of the cross, I couldn’t find any words to say except, “God, save me from me.” I hold on to the hope found in Christ Jesus alone. May God continue to save me from myself.
Food occupied the God-place of Shirley’s heart. But she found Jesus relevant when she chose an intimate relationship with Christ that satisfied the hunger of her soul. Trusting the love of God began to right all that was wrong and to heal all that was wounded as God, in His grace, moved her from perpetual starvation to finding fulfillment in His fullness.