Category Archives: Patience
Friday had been the most difficult day ever. While it started out with a praise service in the Garden, it quickly turned to a dizzying sequence of arrest, skirmish, scattering and disbelief. Then, it was a joke of a trial, a campfire that still didn’t truly warm you, and denial (3 times).
Before you knew it, your Master had been brought before government officials, scourged, mocked, spat upon, and the increasingly growing crowds are screaming for His blood. Yes, Friday was a day you will never be able to forget, no matter how hard you try. The humiliation. The degradation.
The images of your Master being beaten to a bloody pulp, struggling to carry that heavy cross beam up the hill to the place of the Skull are surpassed only by the images of the spikes being driven in His hands and feet just before He is lifted up, high above the city, outside the city gates. There, the Master is hung out to die.
Too much to comprehend.
Hearing His cries of anguish still haunts you. But hearing Him say, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing” is haunting as well. Forgive them? Seriously? Then, as the skies grew dark and the whole earth seemed to shake, He gave up His spirit and died. The Master died. Too much to comprehend.
Waiting, praying for God to intervene, and wondering why He didn’t answer those prayers, now it is Saturday, and the shock has not begun to wear off. You are numb to your very soul. “Why, God? What possible good could come from this? How could You allow the Master to be crucified?”
You keep praying, but God does not seem to answer. The silence is deafening. You are broken in every possible way. You wait.
Still, no clear answer seems to be forthcoming, so you wait.
Your fellow followers of the Master are scattered, but slowly start coming back to a place with which you are all familiar. Hushed sobs fill the air. No one dares speak aloud. All are wondering the same thing: why? What next? Still, no clear answer seems to be forthcoming, so you wait.
You are exhausted from the events of the past 36 hours, but sleep does not come. More crying out to God, “why, God? What do we do now?” Still, no reply. So you do the only thing you know you can do at this moment. You wait.
You have no idea what is coming next, but you are trying desperately to trust God Who knows all and will work all things for the good. At least that’s what you learned over the past three years from sitting at the feet of your Master. Still, it just doesn’t seem like ANYTHING good could possibly come from the events of the past day and a half. You would LOVE to drift off to sleep just for a respite from the anguish, but sleep eludes you. So, you wait.
Friday is done. Saturday is fading away. Sunday is coming. Wait.
Ephesians 6:12 reads:
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
It is from this perspective that I want to talk about my struggle with weight-loss, and combatting type 2 diabetes. Yeah, those are both flesh-and-blood kind of issues, but the underlying spiritual motivation is the point here.
A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, having flirted in the pre-diabetic stage for many years prior to that. I know that it is in my best interest to eat a more healthy diet, and to exercise on a regular basis. I have chronicled my journey with Weight Watchers, and I must tell you that IF you follow that lifestyle, the pounds will melt away. I can also tell you that IF you fall off that wagon, the pounds will reappear much faster than they went away.
Six months ago, I was faithfully adhering to the eating plan, and regularly exercising. My weight was down by 20 pounds, my A1c had dropped to 6.0 (the target number is 6.0 or lower), and my blood sugar readings were routinely in the 90’s, and low 100’s. Three months ago, I was only sporadically following the eating plan, and exercising some. My A1c went up to 6.4, and my blood sugars were creeping up, as was my weight.
My most recent visit to the doc revealed an A1c level of 6.7 (7.0 and above is in the “no-no” category), my blood sugars are routinely in the 120’s and those 20 pounds I had lost have found me once again.
The struggle is real.
The struggle is real. When I originally embarked on my lifestyle change it was with the realization that my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.
I know that I am not honoring God when I eat out every night and gain weight. I know I am not honoring God when my lifestyle results in elevated A1c and daily blood sugar readings. Intellectually, I know all of this! I feel like Paul in Romans 7…the things I should do, I don’t, and the things I shouldn’t do, I do. Yikes! The struggle is real.
All I know is this: while the struggle is real, I am equipped for the battle. The prayers of those who lift me up regularly, the dragging of my large posterior out of the bed early mornings to go to the gym, and the choices I can make in what I eat are all there to help me overcome this struggle. It is a spiritual struggle even more so than a physical one, and God is in control. God will be honored. May my life honor Him in every thing that I do.