The Adoration of the Magi (detail) by RembrandtAbstinent Today:

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 can hold onto fear that serves the purpose of keeping compulsion alive, or I can turn my life—one moment at a time— over to my Higher Power.” — For Today, p. 104

Eating problems fall into the category of anxiety disorders; and anxiety is a form of fear that is so sure of itself that it goes around actively anticipating its own fulfillment.  We, who fear there may not be enough to satisfy us, hoard all we can get each time it becomes available, socking away the extra and eating it as soon as we get the opportunity.  As my first sponsor pointed out to me, fear is nothing but a projected resentment – it’s regretting something that hasn’t happened yet.  Because it materializes in our present something that may not happen in our future, it wastes energy both then and now.  What an incredibly senseless way to live!

Placing everything in God’s hands and trusting Him to make sense of it all has freed me from the shadowy, terrifying existence of wondering whether I will ever be enough, have enough, or be loved enough.  Trusting God, even just a little bit, gives me the opportunity to watch Him be amazing.  Then, trusting Him becomes easier with each new broken part of my life I offer to Him.

It occurred to me that the recipient of an organ transplant has no need of the damaged, diseased organ which made the exchange necessary.   The old is discarded to make room for the donor organ.  When I offer my warped will to God in exchange for His, I need to release my grip on the old one with just as much enthusiasm and gratitude as one receiving a new heart.  …because that is what I am getting!

 

 

 

From Proverbs 2:

He holds victory in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless”

There is winning associated with surrender.  That is so contrary to earthly wisdom!  Reality is often contrary to what we might naturally think.  It is the insecure man who dominates his wife.  It is those who fear not having enough that hoard too much.  The more I struggle to surrender, the harder it becomes.  Likewise, spiritual victory cannot be achieved by anything I do; it is an unmerited gift given to those who follow after the self-sacrificing example of the God-man, Jesus, who offered Himself to death because of His love for us.  He seals such disciples with His Spirit, and He stands as the shield between them and defeat.  He doesn’t just provide a shield; He becomes the shield!  What a great provider!  I choose to be aligned with Him.

 

 

From my reading through the Bible,” currently in Amos 8 and 9:

God used a basket of ripe fruit as a picture for Amos, to demonstrate that the time was ripe for Israel.  How appropriate that God would use food, the object of God’s provision and man’s selfish indulgence, even from the Garden of Eden, to make a point about judgment and repentance.

https://i1.wp.com/fruitnflora.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/FruitBasket.png8:11 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Sovereign Lord,
‘when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
12 Men will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.’”

How good and wonderful it is that God has given us a hunger for Him, a longing for lasting love, a thirst to be usefully empowered!  That hunger serves as a pre-programming to return home to Him, and I am grateful for it.

9:he who builds his lofty palace in the heavens
and sets its foundation on the earth,
who calls for the waters of the sea
and pours them out over the face of the land—
the Lord is his name.”

8 ‘Surely the eyes of the Sovereign Lord
are on the sinful kingdom.
I will destroy it
from the face of the earth—
yet I will not totally destroy
the house of Jacob,’
declares the Lord.
“…10 All the sinners among my people
will die by the sword”

I have been struck by the Sword of the Spirit three times today regarding proper reverence for God.   Once in Malachi 1, where self-indulgent man whined to God, “How have you loved us?” as though the providence of the Lord was not enough or, as it has been in my case, closely enough aligned with man’s wishes and selfish expectations.  God’s response showed that He was sickened by the sacrifices they offered that were blemished, especially by the selfish attitudes of the giver.  Second was in Ephesians 5:21, where the Apostle Paul instructed Christians to “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”  It occurred to me that submission is self-sacrifice; and a call to submit to one another, amounts to instruction to sacrifice our self-will in preference, not just for God’s will, but in preference for the people around us.  Add to that the motivation of reverence for Christ, and any such offering is rendered painfully inadequate by comparison.  Now, here in Amos, I read that God’s people would be (and will be again) sifted like wheat in a sieve for their apathy, which grows as if in season.  The Word of the Lord, the Sword of the Spirit, prunes those who will be pruned, shapes those branches that will be shaped, and slays the rest.

Holy One, I recognize that, as I offer myself to You, it is a broken, blemished, and battered gift I bring.  Yet I offer it with all my heart.  Make me pliable to Your shaping, dear God, and keep me attentive to Your correction.  I am willing, Lord!  Help me overcome my unwillingness!  Build me into what You would have me become.

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 63:

“More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn.”

 

 

 

 

Footnotes:

*Abstinence began for me on May 11th, 2010.

For the sake of accountability, the details of my eating are posted in my online food log.

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