Christ is relevant to obesity.
Do you struggle with the concept of finding Christ relevant to situations such as obesity? Eating disorders? How about Multiple Sclerosis? We are often left pondering the question, “How does Christ make a difference in this situation?” In chapter 1 of Desperate Dependency, we introduced you to Shirley. Yes, she is a very real person. Take a few moments to read her story and see how she could find Christ relevant to her eating disorder that resulted in obesity and her later diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis.
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 due to medical complications that were exacerbated by her obesity. This is how she tells her story.
Sin has a way of eating at your heart.
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.
My weight problem was really a heart problem.
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 always thought I could change later.
I guess we all spend some time on the edge. I’ve 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 this 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.
Christ is relevant to the hunger of your soul.
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. God, in His grace, moved her from perpetual starvation to finding fulfillment in His fullness.
After learning that Christ is relevant to obesity…
Years later, we received this update from Shirley.
The health issues that I talked about a few months ago and the sudden depression and exhaustion, trouble walking, numbness, and vision changes, finally have a diagnosis. I have Multiple Sclerosis. I’d appreciate your prayers. I knew something was wrong inside my body, but I still looked the same on the outside, so I discounted each issue until some just got very overwhelming and serious.
I will see my Neurologist before getting an MRI, but my doctor, Rheumatologist, and eye specialist all agree. I’m grateful, though, to have a name put with what has been going on for a while now. As much as I do not want to have MS, I am glad to have a diagnosis to know what I am dealing with and how to move forward. Not knowing is much worse than having facts, even hard ones.
Christ is relevant to Multiple Sclerosis.
I have times that I feel fearful, but I am very aware that my Lord is not surprised by this diagnosis. It has not come to me before being sifted through His sovereign hands. Therefore, I trust Him. I have gone to the very depth of my fears and explored those possibilities. I found Christ relevant to even Multiple Sclerosis.
When I was reading 1 Corinthians, and got to the part where Paul had been sharing Christ. The Jewish people wanted to flog him when he said he would share it with the Gentiles. Thankfully someone got him out of that crowd and to momentary safety. While he was standing there terrified, Christ came. And the Word says He stood very close to Paul and told him to “Be courageous.” Then God let Paul know that they were going to Rome to do this again.
When I read that, I knew that God could have gotten that message to Paul in a myriad of ways. But God came to him personally and stood very close to his friend. I thought about how Paul must have felt the warmth from Jesus’ body and felt a sense of safety and protection that no one else could have provided except for Jesus. He is a very personal, loving Savior, and I feel Him stand very close to me through this. My doctor said the depression I have struggled with has been from the MS, and thankfully it is much better.
I am experiencing God’s peace for the most part, and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for that. I have known for months something was wrong, but I did not have a name to put with it.
Will you allow the Master to complete His self-portrait through your life by whatever means He sees as necessary?
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Excerpts from Desperate Dependency by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis.
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