Friday, August 19, 2011

Fat and Unruly

I’ve struggled against weight gain ever since high school. I’ve sometimes succeeded in losing a considerable amount and then gained it back. I know there are a lot of people like me and one of the things we’re told to do is to find out the underlying cause of our gain. While I might have emotional or physical problems that contribute to it, I know the real reason is that I like food. I like sweet and salty and soft and savory and crunchy and hot and cold and creamy food. So I eat too much and get fat.

God’ s people got fat on His blessings. 

He guarded them as he would guard his own eyes.
He spread his wings and carried them safely on his pinions.
He let them feast on the crops of the fields
     honey from the rock
     olive oil from the stony ground
     yogurt from the herd
     the fat of lambs
     the choicest wheat
     the finest wine

God found them in the empty desert where they were starving and thirsty. He carried them to safety and fed them abundantly with the best. They feasted on God’s provision, but they took in too much. They became fat and unruly; they were heavy, plump and stuffed. They were gluttons. 

I can relate to the Israelites. When I’ve got a feast in front of me, I usually eat too much. I walk away from the table stuffed and that’s part of the reason I’ve gotten fat. But this passage is about more than food. God’s complaint against His people is that they accepted His blessings, gorged on them and then they abandoned Him. They forgot that He had rescued them from a desert and stopped appreciating what He had done for them.

God’s blessings aren’t intended to make us fat. If we use them only for ourselves, we’ll end up forgetting what God has done for us. Like the Israelites, we’ll make light of the Rock of our salvation. 

I want to say, “No way. I won’t forget how Jesus has saved me.” But I could become complacent when I’m surrounded by God’s abundant riches. I have free access to His word. I can attend church whenever and wherever I want. I have rich fellowship and teaching. Materially, I have more than I can eat, wear, play with and read. I have enough time to relax and interesting work to do.

So how do I avoid becoming fat and unruly? 

First, don’t stuff myself with His blessings. If God gives me more than I can use, I should share it; reinvest it in His Kingdom. 

Second, I mustn’t forget where the blessings came from. Jesus is the Rock of my salvation. In Him I live and move and have my being. I should constantly thank Him for what He has done for me.

Thank you, Jesus, for the blessings you have heaped on me, especially for my salvation.

(By the way, I’ve joined Weight Watchers and it's helping me overcome my gluttony.)

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