There is this one big question that was always in my mind and still looms in my mind when it comes to recovery from any addiction, eating disorder. This question stays in front of me all the time, because I read so many articles and follow so many bloggers on the issues of eating disorders and the rising problems in today’s culture. This question staggers me, often, because it is such a big question.
What is the solution to an eating disorder?
Why do I ask this? Because I’ve struggled with it for so long.
I’m starting to understand what that solution is, and it’s almost too hard to share, because my own mind can barely take it in.
First, what is the problem behind an eating disorder? What’s the iceberg under the water? What’s the stuff under the rug that I don’t really like talking about, but the stuff that really needs to be talked about? What’s hiding out in the dark behind the fear of icecream, the fear of gaining weight, the guilt after eating a chocolate chip cookie, or the obsessive need to constantly be exercising?
Sin. Idolatry. It’s putting one god, cheap gods (for me: eating, body, food, other relationships) in front of the real and only true God, the only God who holds the whole world in His hands, directs our steps, and created every single person in this world for a purpose.
Sin is a crushing load. It’s terrible. It’s evil, and it’s never desirable. Yet it’s also hard to admit that I’m a sinner, not a good person.
It’s easy to avoid this subject, and preach to the masses that the whole of humanity is getting better, that humanity is doing just fine, that we are strong enough, that we can solve the world’s problems with more peace talks, that we can do it, and that we don’t need any help.
The fact is: it just doesn’t ever work. The fact is, humanity can’t get better or save itself. We try, but we fail.
Have you ever felt empty? Have you ever felt like, no matter what you tried, that life would always have a strain of longing, restlessness, and a deep sense of desire that nothing earthly could possibly fill?
Have you ever felt like nothing, food, a relationship, exercise, blogs, friends, and vacations just don’t fill you up? Or if they fill you, do they keep you full, full of joy and life and purpose?
I was truly empty for a long time because my wandering heart was running hither and thither, to and fro, trying to quench my insatiable thirst, to crush the incredible guilt that I bore around with me everywhere I went, to find something that would be TRUE, not fake, peace for my broken, battered spirit, soul, and body.
Ephesians 4:10, ‘He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.’
The hard thing to admit is that we’re sinners. We are on bad terms with God. When we sin it’s not primarily a matter of sinning against society. Man’s standards of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, if we base them on ourselves, are always changing, because we are always going UP and down.
It’s hard to imagine that in this world, where people appear to be ‘just fine’ that everybody is broken, dark, and empty on the inside.
Isaiah 59:2, ‘But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.’
The biggest reason that sin is so heinous is that we sinned against God, a holy, loving, just God, who put us on this earth for His glory, made in His image, and called everything that He made good. When we sin, we offend God. We offend our Creator, our merciful, holy, and good God who made us for something FAR BETTER, His glory.
It all began with a lie in the garden, just like the lies that ED pours into your head. Genesis 3:2-5, ‘And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.’
He told them they would be as gods, and that sounded good to them. Being the ‘god’ of our life does sound good to us. It means that we are ‘in control’ and that we can determine what we do, but can we, really? It wasn’t enough that God’s eyes were everywhere already, beholding the evil and the good.
Proverbs 15:3, ‘The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.’
That day man listened to a lie, and it affected all of us… It broke man. It separated us from God. Satan tried to make man believe that he could replace GOD with himself, a poor substitute for God.
Being with God was the best relationship, the relationship that we were created for, in the beginning. In fact, I can’t even imagine what it was like, because God Almighty is the Maker of the universe, of me, and all the people around me, and yet He walked with Adam in the garden? That blows my mind to bits.
Yet God is holy. Isaiah 6:3, ‘And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”‘
That means that God couldn’t just ignore our sin. That would be like a judge saying to someone who had just committed a terrible crime… ‘Ya know what? I think you can just go. I’m just gonna let ya off the hook.’ God provided a way, the perfect way, that would not compromise His perfect goodness, and yet save man from the dreadful, damned state of his soul.
We wouldn’t want any judge to do that to a terrible criminal, so why would I say that God would do that to me?
I’ve sinned. The guilt I felt about ‘eating’ a cookie was an outward manifestation of a deeper guilt that I carried, that everyone carries.
It’s not wrong to eat a cookie, but it was wrong to have an idol before my Almighty God, my Father. I forgot my first love, the One who first loved me, the One who gave me that cookie, my body, my family, my identity. What good was it for me to worship the things that He created when the Creator is infinitely more glorious.
I am weak. I fix myself and make myself ‘good enough’ for God. I’m not God. Have I ever predicted the future? Did I save myself from my eating disorder? Do I direct the winds and the waters? I don’t, and I can’t.
I couldn’t just fill the emptiness with more emptiness, about me being strong enough, when I was finding myself to be a weak, inadequate, fearful human being.
I really am just a human, imperfect and a sinner. I needed the grace of God and salvation through His Son Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:1-4, ‘There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.’
I absolutely couldn’t. There is this emptiness that every man and woman has that only ONE Being, one Person, One God can fill.
And the filling of God Almighty comes through one person, one person, who was both man and God. He was the most amazing person in the world, yet He was born in a small manger in a no account town in the middle of the Middle East.
His name is known the world over.
It’s not an empty name. It’s not a celebrity’s name that has come and gone. It’s not my name that is known in um… my house and the body of Christ where we go every Sunday.
It’s the Lord Jesus Christ. He brought the SOLUTION, to EVERYTHING, the solution for the now, for the past guilt that we have from our sin, and for the future in eternity with God.
This is who He is.
Philippians 2:6-11, ‘Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.’
And He didn’t come to earth for no reason. He came to give something that would satisfy, to the fullest, to the deepest the emptiness, the brokenness of every soul, and bring light to every dark, sinful, corrupt heart like mine.
John 4:7-14, ‘There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.’
This isn’t a pressuring or a ‘preaching’ to those of my readers who may not be Christians, but this is a plea, a plea that Jesus Christ really DOES have living water. Jesus Christ came to be the COVERING of complete righteousness for our sins. Salvation was NOT of works (Ephesians 2) lest any one should boast.
Christianity isn’t about being good enough, and I thought that for too many years. I lived like that. I lived like the Bible was the book of rules to follow and keep me in fear of every transgressing them. That’s what a lot of people seem to think about it too, but do you know what Jesus said were the two GREATEST commandments?
Matthew 26:37-40, ‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt lovethy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.’
You see. Keeping God’s commandments starts with love for Him. It starts with love for the Heavenly Father that sent His Son, His only begotten and beloved Son to die for unworthy sinners, so that YOU WILL BE FREE INDEED.
Freedom in Christ isn’t temporary. It’s not even a feeling. In Acts 16:31 Paul makes the message of salvation so simple. He says, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and You shall be saved.’
That’s the gospel. That’s the living water that will KICK your ED out of the house. It won’t just kick it out, only to let it come running back 2 years later. It will COMPLETELY kick it out, because Christ Jesus is ALL in ALL. It’s not ED + Jesus. Jesus Christ is all filling, abundantly flowing.
The world offers us salt water for our problems, for our emptiness. It says, ‘Go have some sex. Eat another brownie. Go on another vacay…’ All of those things are blessings, when used in the right context, but they’re gifts from God, is something that I’ve learned and am learning. They aren’t the ultimate satisfaction, because the Giver of those good gifts is the ultimate satisfaction, the One whom we were made for.
The hunger, emptiness, sadness, guilt are all the deeper reminder of what every human being needs.
We all were made to behold our God. He’s not a God of our own imaginations. He’s Lord of the universe, sovereign, unchanging, loving, merciful, holy, just, good, and perfect. He is the very definition of love. It’s not hard for me to imagine that God was angry with my sin, but the hardest thing for me to comprehend is that He would have provided a way to save me from His anger.
Isaiah 35:4, Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.’
Jeremiah 32:27, ‘Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?’
It’s not God’s wrath over sin that I have a hard time understanding, but I will never fully comprehend the depth of His love. His love is so free to me, an undeserving, broken, small, unimportant girl. How could someone like the God of the Universe care enough about me to send His Son? He didn’t have to. He could have left me without hope, but that is not Him. Everywhere, throughout the Scriptures, it talks about His abundant pardon, His everlasting mercy, His never-ending love, despite the many time that He has to chastise His children in order to bring them back to Him and remind them of His great love.
In Him, I am more than a conqueror. NOTHING can separate me from that love. Because of Jesus, I am accepted, and I can once again BOLDLY to the throne of grace and stand before Him and worship Him without fear of condemnation.
Hebrews 4:14-16 says, ‘Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need’
This is Jesus Christ. He saves our souls. He redeems to God and for God’s ultimate glory. He redeems from hell and destruction. He showers living water onto the hungry, thirsty souls that wander in desserts without relief.
Jesus Christ was the only option in recovery. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go to treatment or see a doctor. NO! Please do not take this as medical advice.
God provides all of those people to help us with the physical side of recovery.
Yet, Jesus Christ fixes the deepest problem, the whole iceberg beneath the surface. His healing of our souls begins to FLOW to every part of our life, including the physical and emotional.
He’s the only way, the truth and the life. He is LIFE abundant, and anything else will drain or destroy us. Idols are not kind masters.
That’s what ED did. That was the lingering thought that I had the other day when I stepped on the scale and ‘freaked out’ about the number I saw. I’m no longer under the condemnation of those lies. Sin, Satan, hell, and death have no more dominion over me because of Christ Jesus.
I’m a very weak person. I have insecurity, doubt, and fear, but now that I live in Christ, those insecure thoughts can continue to die because I have died to sin. Sin can’t reign over me. Idols won’t have power any longer, because Christ Jesus our Lord is the breaker of chains, the Redeemer of Souls, and our Almighty God and Savior.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18, ‘For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.’
Recovery is more than possible in Christ. In Christ, it is impossible to NOT recover. Christ has conquered, and you can be a new person in God’s glorious and beautiful love.
THANK you to the awesome and sweet Katie for letting all of us bloggers link-up for this Marvelous Monday!