I am a recovering compulsive overeater, abstinent by the grace of God one more day at a time.

From today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“I thought only death would release me from this pain. Thoughts of suicide grew with the progressing, never-ceasing pain.”

Compulsive overeating is a slow suicide with food bullets.  We know what we are doing is harmful, but we don’t care.  Our pain is too great not to medicate it.  We don’t feel like we deserve health.  We deserve to feel the way food promises to make us feel.  Even if we could live healthy, that life seems so far off, so unattainable, so distant; we would rather just do whatever we want without regard of consequences.  We reason that our life is so miserable that we would rather not live it so long anyway and, with that reasoning, we invite obesity, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and all manner of death sentences into our mouths.

One of the worst miseries of suicidal thinking is the loneliness that almost always accompanies despair.  It is the overwhelming feeling that there is no one on earth who cares or understands.  Suicide is preventable, and the greatest intervention tool is caring.  Suicidal loneliness is cast off by it.  Caring is a warm fire lit in a cold dark life, and no one living in that darkness can resist being drawn to it.  It is life for the desperate and hope for the hopeless.  Our VOR contributor today was responding to the words she read at a group meeting, “Welcome back. Welcome home!”  The Overeaters Anonymous fellowship is a great bonfire of hope for those of us who were and are slowly dying of despair mixed with food.

God has blessed me with a great passion for the prevention of suicide that has come out of a history marked by the painful scars of it.  He spares me daily from the stranglehold of compulsive overeating.  We who have been warmed by the solution have a ministry opportunity to make the hearth of fellowship a welcome place for the hurting, a home for the heartbroken.  How will you choose to share your hope today?  People are dying for lack of it.

From Proverbs 27:

20 Death and Destruction[a] are never satisfied,
and neither are the eyes of man.”

The eyes of man, the cravings of the body, the lusts of the flesh these are the same things, and here is another: the whims and ways of emotion.  These expressions all depict the reality that mankind, when bent on serving personal wants and wishes, entangles itself in a futile effort that brings about Death (Sheol – the grave) and ultimately, Destruction (Abaddon – Hell).  There is no point at which my cravings will be satisfied.  None!  They will always be amplifying tools of the deceiver, self-serving conduit drawing on my energy like a vacuum of darkness.  The only answer is to turn from them and embrace a different way of living – one of serving a purpose rather than a whim, empowered by God rather than “feel-good foods,” of acting on life rather than reacting to it.

The senses deceive, so it is our responsibility not to serve them.   When “the eyes of man” long for toxins, man can choose to shut his eyes and seek the Truth.  The Bread of Life and Living Water will be found by those who ask, seek and knock.  He is not hiding.  It is just that He cannot be seen by the eyes of lust, but only by the eyes of faith.

Oh, Maker of eyes that see and ears that hear, grant me spiritual seeing and hearing that I may not be deceived by my flesh, but continually walk where Your voice leads.  May I be given an uncommon Spirit-sense that finds the lost seekers and draws them out of their darkness to the Hope that is in You alone.  Keep me from drawing the bow of self-service across the strings of will, but make me an instrument of Your peace, in tune with Your will, in concert with Your purpose.  In the Name of Him who showed us Your face and brought us Your grace, Amen!

From my reading through the Bible, currently in Isaiah 25 and 26:

In Chapter 25, Isaiah prophesied about God’s triumph over the ruthless and faithful deliverance of the His oppressed.  Death, the sheet and shroud that covers and enfolds all mankind, will be lifted off and destroyed forever (v.7).  He will wipe away our tears and remove our disgrace (v.8).  He will bring down the lofty and lift up the faithful.

In that day they will say,

‘Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the Lord, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.’”

Chapter 26 contains a verse I regularly recite to hone my mind along the grain of integrity and faith:

You will keep in perfect peace
him whose mind is steadfast,
because he trusts in you.”

This verse is posted beneath my calendar and clock at which I look every morning, and yet, as I read it in its context today, I wondered why I haven’t inscribed the whole chapter on my wall.  Trust, humility, integrity, submission, patience, faithfulness, passion for God, spiritual insight, supernatural peace, honor, victory, and hope are all in this text.  It is a celebration of the eternal goodness of God and hope for His people, who are rescued from desperation and delivered to relationship with the Creator.

16 Lord, they came to you in their distress;
when you disciplined them,
they could barely whisper a prayer.”

19 But your dead will live;
their bodies will rise.
You who dwell in the dust,
wake up and shout for joy.”

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, “Bill’s Story”:

“Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish.”