“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” That’s Galatians 5, verse 22 through 25.
Like a spoiled little child, I stamp my foot, jump up and down and demand (maybe ask fervently would be a little more appropriate when addressing our Father God.) “Abba, Daddy, please, I beg of you -- help! I would like your fruit of self-control.” This little sheep called Lucy is fluffier than ever. I mean large, grande. An all-time record has been met and I did it all by my little old lonesome.
Lonesome. That’s an interesting choice of words. Yes. I would have to say the majority of my feeding frenzy grazing time has been done alone. Oh, and it’s such a little user-friendly kind of an activity, at least for a little while until those extra pounds slip on. Most sin is. Oww, wow, I don’t like that label! Can’t we just write gluttony in teeny-weenie little letters so nobody will notice? Hello. How could you help but not notice? I mean I’m 5’3” in a size 14. There is no blazer, long sweater or flowing muumuu that can hide the fact. Right now I am 30 pounds overweight. Lord, forgive.
I’d like to go back to that word “lonesome.” Am I? Have I been? Well, I’d have to say “yes” occasionally, even though I am a wife, a mother of four, a grandmother of six. Why, I’ve been blessed with numerous friends and numerous family and numerous functions.
“Beep. Beep. Beep.” A warning signal should be going off. Numerous functions! Wow! When I look at my calendar, I become tired before I’ve even made it out of Monday’s shoot. Busyness isolates. Ah ha! I think that might be a truth and one of the problems. I’m often running around with my head cut off. Many of the activities are important, worthwhile, essential, but there are just plain blasted too many of them. Sometimes I eat out of exhaustion, not even conscious of what I’m putting in my mouth. Sometimes I think one little item from a drive-thru window will give me the energy to forge ahead. Wrong. What I need is to stop, go home and rest in the Lord.
Boredom. Habit. Two more little culprits. I mean, can you really watch a movie and not eat popcorn? Can you eat a graham cracker without peanut butter and can you eat just one o them? Lord forbid, no, Lord forgive.
Then there’s the old eating for comfort syndrome. “I think I might be coming down with a little cold so I’ll get a healthy bowl of tomato soup and crumble a few little crackers in it to give some body. How about a whole stack of saltines and a little cup of ice cream might help my scratchy throat.
Please. Give me a break! Are you getting the picture, Pilgrim? I am totally out of whack and control - self-control and that is the fruit for which I am pleading. Food isn’t the answer for loneliness, for tiredness, for boredom, for comfort.
“Come unto Me all ye that are burdened and heavy laden and I will give you rest,” our Lord said.
Yes, Lord. I am burdened. I am heavy laden, literally 30 extra pounds worth. Lord, forgive me. I know You are a jealous God and I am so thankful that You are. You want nothing to separate us from Your love. Lord, I’ve often reached inappropriately for food instead of You and Your Word. Lord, forgive. May this day be the beginning of a more healthy, holy life. By your grace and the wise use of my free will, may we work together and do something about this weight.
For me, Pilgrim, it is not about control, but about rather relinquishing control. I cannot conquer this sin alone. I must be in partnership with the Lord to be victorious. You know, much of the emphasis is a wrong in our world today. We’re daily bombarded with images of skinny young things and told this is the ideal. And you know what? After a little while we begin believing the lie or if not believing, at least sense a slight pall of depressive negative self talk settling in our psyche. Hello? There is no way this 50-year-old, 5’3” will ever fit that model and couldn’t have, even in my prime. I’m not supposed to. I’m just called to be “Lucy,” the uniquely made one-of-a-kind individual that the Lord designed. And that is all that you also are called to be, Pilgrim, not some fictitious Fifth Avenue model.
Sometimes I think when we die and meet our Maker on the other side, we will be met with a big hug from our Father God and then He’ll step back and hold up a Designer Pattern, Designed by Him. It will have our individual name on it and He’ll compare what He had in mind with what we’ve constructed on our own. Hopefully, by His grace, there will become semblance of recognition. He might say, “Lucy, this is the way I planned for you to be. What happened, Precious Child of Mine? Why, you’re hardly yourself, the one I meant for you to be.”
Then I’ll have the opportunity, because of His Love, His Son’s Love, His Holy Spirit’s Love, to crawl up into His lap and confess and say for the last time, “Lord forgive.” And He will, Pilgrim, because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and our Father God will give me another big hug and a kiss and put me down and say, “Welcome Home, Precious Child of Mine. Now, go run and play in the Kingdom for all eternity. Oh, and by the way, there are no scales or dress sizes up here, just white robes, which will fit you perfectly. Now skip along, love.” Ahh! What a grand thought. But for now, Pilgrim, on this side of heaven, I think I’d better concentrate more on “I buffet my body.”
Precious Pilgrim, might you need a portion of this Holy Spirit fruit of self-control? Ask your Father God. There is plenty to go around.
I am Your fluffy, middle-aged ewe,
Who’s soon to be a slimmer sheep,
By God’s grace and His fruit,
Yes. We can hear one more time. We have the time for it.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. I we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.”
God bless, Pilgrim.