Thorns, Strongholds, and Discipline

Oooh y’all.  In doing the Brave Bible study by Angela Thomas, I have been convicted and encouraged. I’d love to share my heart (and hope some of you are right there with me).

After the great week on being worn out (can I get an AMEN!?), Angela hit us hard talking about thorns and discipline.  I felt Jesus talking to my heart.

To be perfectly open and honest (because I don’t really know how to talk about this without being open and honest), I feel like my thorn and my areas of undisciplined living are the same- they are food related.

I honestly think being overweight is a thorn in my flesh.

It’s a lifelong struggle that seems to consume me at times.  It’s something I’ve pleaded with the Lord to take away, and it’s something I’m living with.  Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12 that his thorn was given by Satan but used for good by God to keep him humble and drawing near to the Lord. 

I feel the same way.  My fleshly desires for good food and lethargy (which I’ve overcome) are sinful.  This weight issue is brought on by my sin, plain and simple and humbling and tough. However, I think God is allowing me to live with it to boast in HIM at my victories…instead of being full of my hot, skinny self. 🙂

Now, here is where Angela took me for a curve. The week after we studied thorns, we talked about being undisciplined.

I AM undisciplined in SO many areas of my life, but one is my meal planning and healthy eating.  I try.  And I do SO much better now that I have before.  But I’m not perfect (and thank goodness for God’s grace and love!  He loves me even when I eat a donut. Or six.)

I felt really called to give this struggle over to God even more.  He may not ever let me have my perfect body on this side of heaven (can I get an AMEN for the perfect heavenly body I’ll get someday….that one will be so much better than any earthly body I can imagine!). But, I can take care of the body the Lord has given me to HIS glory.  I can choose to eat the salad at church on Wednesday (rather than the yummy chicken fried steak) to HIS glory.  It may not always result in weight loss (we’ve all had those times when we’ve given it our 100%, and lost nothing. CAN I GET AN AMEN?)…but the discipline and obedience will result in other blessings. If I get too consumed with this discipline, it can become an idol in my life.  I don’t want to idolize myself or food or working out.  I want to worship GOD…not calorie counting.

One lady at church talked about becoming disciplined to get up early and go to the gym.  HER goal was to lose some weight and feel stronger.  She hadn’t really lost any weight, and working out was drudgery to her…even after months of 5 AM gym sessions.  HOWEVER….her mornings were so blessed now.  She was awake and alert and home from the gym to feed her children breakfast.  To spend time with them.  She said her mornings were 10000x better now that she gets up and works out.

So there is her blessing.  She may not get the goal she wants, but God is blessing that discipline. I feel that with me.  I may not get the result I want: losing weight and fitting into smaller clothes.  But I get lots of blessings.  I’ve made friends on this journey, I’ve grown stronger, and I’ve done things I’ve never imagined I could do (like a freaking triathlon!!).  God is showing me the great things that happen when I take care of this body.  His blessings for me look different than my blessings I would give myself.  But there’s a reason that HE’S GOD AND I’M NOT.  I HAVE TO TRUST HIM.

I’m still working on being the best me in ALL aspects.  The scale may not be where I want it to be, and I still fall short a lot in MANY other aspects of my life. But I’m being blessed every time I choose obedience to God. Because He cares for me…and I want to be the exact person He imagined when He dreamt of me.  I want to be that God girl….and it’s going to take some discipline and LOTS of grace.


Comments

  1. Love your honesty and honestly, related to a lot of it. Thanks for sharing,sweet friend! so proud of you also!

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