There is one really amazing thing about recovery. When I began to feed my physical hunger, it ignited a deeper hunger inside of me.
First, let’s go back …
As a child of God, a child of my Father it is a HUGE struggle to think that you don’t love your Father more than you are loving the body He gave you or the food in front of you. You want to love your Father. He says, ‘If ye love me keep my commandments,’ and that desire is STRONG inside of you, but an eating disorder causes to you say, ‘Why don’t I love my Father? Why do I care about my body so much and not about the Heavenly Father who saved me from the abyss of my sins?
This is a distressing question, one that I fought with, because I knew that Jesus had the victory. I knew that I could enjoy physical food without it being the center of my life, because Jesus is my Lord, not my food.
God gave me my eating struggles for a reason. They were 100% not random, and a sermon yesterday from Hebrews 12:1-29 REALLY confirmed that again in my heart and my head.
First of all, this is from my personal perspective. I am definitely not imposing what I struggled with on anybody else. This was a very personal struggle, and one that my Father brought me through, every step of the way.
1. God used an ED to lovingly chasten me.
Before I had struggles with an ED I was extremely self-confident. Isn’t that sad? I acted like I didn’t need Jesus to save me. I acted like a Pharisee, and I’m so ashamed and humbled to say that and so grateful to be able to admit that.
This verse hit me like a hammer on the head yesterday in the sermon.
Hebrews 12:6-7 says, ‘For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?’
God used the eating disorder to utterly, and it is still crushing my pride. He wanted me to know that He loved me.
God used it to cause me to see the stark truth of who I am, and that I desperately needed to stop looking to myself. Myself was failing, but Jesus
Hebrews 12:1-2, ‘Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.’
I saw that I could do this marathon because of, and only through Jesus. Jesus paid the price. He paid the staggering price for my sin. He suffered. Even if I don’t feel glorious, in this struggle, Jesus’ death at the cross wasn’t glorious.
But what He was accomplishing was glorious, and He’s now RISEN. He’s now in heaven. He is the author of my faith, the finisher of my faith, and it’s because of Him that this journey is not impossible.
The comforting thing is that children receive chastening from their daddy’s hand, because their daddy cares about them. My parents disciplined me, because they loved me.
And isn’t this awesome, because my Heavenly Father is perfect? This ED was purposed before the beginning of the world, because He knew that I needed ‘working on.’ If my parents love me, how much more does my Heavenly Father love me in a holy, perfect, pure and beautiful manner? I needed to be chastened, so that I could be WOKEN up, woken up to the true hunger, the true FILLING that I needed, and that was the love of my Father.
2. There was a purpose in this suffering, this suffering that I went through as a result of the ED.
The purpose was my holiness. What God is after, when He disciplines His children is this: Hebrews 12:10-11, ‘For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.’
God chastened me for my profit. Wow, that is so humbling, because did I deserve that the God of the universe would even care about me? The eating disorder grew me. It built me. It sanctified me, and most of all?
It increased my hunger for and a desire to seek my Father, Who gave all these precious gifts. His love had already sought me, and like an ungrateful child, I had sought love in other things like approval from others, a perfect body, or a perfect diet.
The things I would leave with you when it comes to an eating disorder.
This is not PURPOSELESS. Child of God, your Father cares for you, and He will work it out for your good. It takes faith, not in yourself, but in Him who holds your heart, your life, and your soul in His hands.
Your love for your Father may not be perfect, but His love you is perfect, and that perfect love will PERFECT you. He is slow to anger and plenteous in mercy, and He is SO patient. He is much more patient than any of us human beings.
I’ve seen my Father’s patience in my recovery, in casting off these old idols. ‘Of His mercies I am not consumed…’ I say that, and maybe that sounds a little ‘drastic’ but imagine the Holy, Perfect Judge of the earth looking at someone with all their problems? Imagine a law court. They inflict justice, right? They don’t talk much about mercy, but God satisfied that justice that I so richly deserved on His precious Son.
Food is my friend now, and spiritual food SUSTAINS me. When I just look to a hamburger to make me happy, well, let’s just say the happiness doesn’t last long, but when contentment is based in Christ, FOOD is actually so much more enjoyable, because I don’t live to eat it…
This is a journey. It’s up. It’s down, but God is faithful, and He is teaching me so much.
Do not let this make you bitter. Hebrews 12: 15, ‘Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled…’
Look at the ED as a way to grow, a teaching opportunity. Look at it as an opportunity to see the powerful grace and love of Christ in your life in such a deeper way, a way that you did not know when life was a bit easier.
And when you look back, you will see the pure, chastening, loving hand of a Father, a Father who cared to not abandon you.
So then, I can say that God’s healing hand on my life, His chastening hand, is all love. It may hurt, but it’s not wounds that will not heal. Instead these chastening hand was and is working gold. It’s gold that came at a high price, but I am so grateful that I could share this gold with you as the beautiful fruit of the IMPORTANT work that my Father was and is doing in me.
This is the promise you have child of God in Hebrews 12:18-22, ‘For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.’
Do not fear. Because of Jesus, you can come near to the throne of your Father and see that He means everything, every trial, every struggle for your good. He knows you are not perfect, and so He is working on you.
He purifies. He makes all things new.
Little did I know that when I ate ‘physical food’ it would feed my brain to read the truths of His Scripture, and I found deep, rich truth, by His power, that spoke to the deepest needs of my soul. I learned that truly, we live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
This physical food is a gift. It is a gift. It is a reminder of the far deeper gift of spiritual, everlasting food that our Father has given us. He has given that gift of eternal life, and it is secure.
So enjoy that food… God gave it to you to feed your body, the temple of the Holy Spirit. Food is not an enemy. Food is a gift, and you have not only the gift of physical food but spiritual food available by the Almighty love, grace, and mercy of our Heavenly Daddy.
I’m in that almost 90% recovery phase, but I’m thankful that God keeps showing me weakness, so that I can see that He is my refuge and strength in every trouble. My mind plays tricks, but God is greater than my heart. Jesus won the victory, and so now, I can enjoy that food, end that meal, and go onto the next in freedom, knowing that it CAN’T be my master, even if it wants to be.
Oh yes, and one of the best little packages to receive the day before you go off on an adventure is a cute little pink package filled with 5 beautiful samples of these little ‘Rawxies.’
Linking this up with Amanda too for Thursday’s Thinking out Loud! :))
Did recovery ignite a real hunger inside you beyond a hunger for food?
Who else thinks we should treat food as a gift, not a master?
Did your eating disorder and recovery grow you? What lessons did you learn from it?
What gifts are you grateful for today?