A small flame

A small flame

Lie: If I could just be thin. . .

Years ago in my Oprah-watching days ;o) I saw a show that has stuck with me ever since. The guests on the show had all undergone gastric surgery in a desperate attempt to loose weight. And it worked. Each of the guests were significantly smaller than they had been before the surgery. But they were on the show because, after the surgery, each of them had developed some other harmful behavior pattern. These former over-eaters were now thin alcoholics, gamblers, shopaholics and sex addicts. And their lives and the lives of those they loved were being destroyed by these new 'addictions'.

I found the show both fascinating and heart-breaking. These precious people had bought a lie. The same lie that I buy sometimes. Maybe you do too? The 'If I could just be thin' lie.

'If I could just be thin. . . then people would love me
. . . then I'd feel beautiful
. . . then everything else would go right
. .
If I could just be thin, then I would be happy.

That lie was destroying their lives. The out-of-control eating was merely a symptom of a much deeper heart condition. The surgery may have made it inconvenient for the show's guests to binge on food, but it did nothing to solve the real problem. So, of course, the heart-sins simply began to manifest themselves in other out-of-control behaviors.

This morning I read Psalm 63:

'O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
in your name I will lift up my hands.

My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food,
and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
when I remember you upon my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.'

I love the imagery in these verses! I was especially struck by the part in bold: meditating on who God is and what he has done satisfies my soul's hunger.

I am finding that to be so very true as I walk away from food & toward God.

Here's something good I read in Made to Crave this past week:

Over-stuffing ourselves with food or drink until we get drunk or getting wrapped up in the affections of an adulterous relationship are all desperate attempts to silence the cries of a hungry soul. . .

Our souls have [a] ravenous intensity. . . that's how God created us - with a longing to be filled. It's a longing God instilled to draw us into deep intimacy with Him. . . Our souls are thirsty and ravenous vacuums. If we fail to understand how to fill our souls with spiritual nourishment, we will forever be triggered to numb our longings with other temporary physical pleasures. When those pleasures are food, the resulting behavior is what we often hear referred to as 'emotional eating'. But this issue is bigger than emotions; it's really about spiritual deprivation. (pp 128-129)

The only true change is heart change!

Psalm 63 is a great passage to meditate on and pray back to God as you seek heart change! I have very similar words (the beginning of Psalm 84) written on one of my prayer cards and I often pray that the words would become increasingly true in my life:

'My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.'

What fills your soul-hunger?


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