“This time, I’m really going to take this weight off!” I declared to myself and whoever else might have been listening. Armed with what I thought was extensive knowledge about nutrition, I mapped out a regimen, planned my menus, cleared the pantry and went shopping.
My new “lifestyle” change went just great for about 10 days. Then things began happening. I ran out of supplies and didn’t have time to go to the grocery store. I walked by the snack table at work and decided a cheese Danish was better than that piece of fruit. Somebody said, “Mexican food.” We went to dinner at a friend’s house and I didn’t want to seem fussy. My husband asked, “Want a burger?” I got some bad news and needed some chocolate. You name it.
Before a month was up, I had broken all the rules I had set for myself with such resolve. Then … Are you crying out? said the voice in my head. This question had been posed in a recent class I had attended, and it suddenly came back to me. Rummaging through my notes, I found more choice wisdom: Whenever we determine to be strong, it moves us farther from God.
That’s just what I had been doing: determining to be strong! That’s a familiar behavior for me. From the time I was a child, I believed in the adage, “You can do anything if you put your mind to it.” So what was wrong with me? I had wanted to be thin for as long as I could remember, but … I wasn’t thin. And I hadn’t been thin in a very long time.
My thoughts went back to Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 12:9: And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
What a sweet thought that is, the power of Christ resting upon me. After all that striving, rest was exactly what I needed, and that’s what He gave me. I could rest in my weakness and let Him be strong. I could cry out to Him for help, and He would hear my plea.
When I came out on the other side of this experience, I was able to view my weight problem from a different angle. Take your everyday, ordinary life and place it before God as an offering, my notes read. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him. How profound and lovely is that? Now I can practice surrender each morning, following the lead of my Savior and resting in His strength.
And when I feel my weakest, that’s when I cry out.