I’m a black and white kind of gal. If it pertains to something I care for, or am passionate about, I need to know the details.
What are the rules? Something is either right or wrong, and I need to know which.
There is no, it’s something like, or kinda, and certainly not, it doesn’t matter. EVERYTHING matters.
It’s how I am.
So when I study my Bible and I read about the Israelites escaping Egypt, to cross the wilderness so that they may enter the Promise Lands and all the hardships they overcome, I think to myself,
“Man, they must have been some special kind of stupid.”
God rescues them from their captors. He guides them as a cloud by day, and fire by night. He parts the sea for them to cross and orders the waves to crash down at just the right time, thus killing their pursuers and ending their slavery.
He provides them with food. He provides them water. He keeps them safe.
He then gives Moses all kinds of rules. Laws that explain in great detail, how they should live. What is right. What is wrong.
And he eventually brings them to the outskirts of the land he is giving them!
So I’m thinking, PERFECT! Not only had God shown them, daily, he was with them; he also provided them with the run-down of how they should act and where they will live.
So how on earth could this great group of people, not once, but continually screw this up and forget who God was, need more proof that he was with them, and for the love of Pete, question his intentions and their safety?
I just don’t get it!
Until I look at myself…
I struggle with my weight and eating healthy.
I know ALL the rules. I’ve read all the books. What to eat. What not to eat.
I’ve talked to several professionals about weight loss and exercise. I know what I’m suppose to do and why.
I have friends who are nutritional specialists and friends who are personal trainers.
Everything I need has been laid out before me. The science behind all of it is extremely black and white.
And yet, time and time again I find myself broken, exhausted, and crumbling with self-doubt, disappointment and feelings of failure at the feet of Jesus, in a big fat puddle of special kind of stupidness.
I just can’t do this. Oh, I can for a little while. But as something I must do day after day? Forever? No, I can’t.
Even with all the rules I fall short, everytime.
Why God? Why does this happen?
God sent the Israelites into the wilderness for 40 years to sanctify them. To transform them from slaves into his chosen people. They had to learn what sets them apart, by being set apart.
Maybe that’s why I’m here too. Maybe my issues with my weight are to sanctify me. I need Jesus to transform me from being a slave to sin, into being, saved by Grace.
With Grace, there are no rules. There is nothing for me to do. God sent the laws to his people to show them they cannot live by them. The laws are not what saved them; what made them right with God. No, he sent his son to save us from sin; to make us right with him.
I don’t understand Grace. It doesn’t play by the rules. It is often, something like, kind of, AND whatever.
We don’t live by the law of the Old Testament anymore. We’re not judged by it.
So when I look at me and my weight. And I try so hard to follow all the rules, I get so frustrated because I can do the rules for a little while. But eventually I always, ALWAYS fall back into my old habits and gain my weight back again. Just like the stupid Israelites.
Maybe God is trying to teach me Grace, while I’m trying to force myself to live by these ridiculously hard and impossible rules that I’ve set up for myself. When Jesus is right here telling me, “Kim, what are you doing? Who are you doing this for? I love you just the way you are.”
Knowing that God sent Jesus because we can’t live by rules, and we can’t save ourselves, brings me some kind of relief.
What kind, I don’t know, but I feel relief from something.
Regardless of my weight, I am not lazy, I am not a pig, and I am not a failure. And the Israelites were not stupid.
We are all in need of a savior. And God says, his Grace is enough (2 Corinthians 12:9). So this is what I will try daily, to understand. And I will accept it, even if I don’t ‘get’ it.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning. – Lamentations 3:23
Praise God for THAT!