A year from now, after all you are certain to face, what would you count as a win? More importantly, after all the energies you are bound to expend in the upcoming year, what would you consider a loss?
I posed this question to a roomful of women at a recent retreat. We were identifying the current battles women fight on every front regarding fitness, food and the ever-more-difficult effort required to be fabulous every waking minute.
The she-soldiers were a bit weary and overwhelmed. All the skirmishes with the world do take their toll, and these women were needing reinforcements. A few were glad to be AWOL for a while and to take of their combat boots.
“At the end of this season of life, what would you count as a loss?”
In regards to this topic, a loss for me would be if there was only law in my kitchen and at my table. I know a lot about healthy nutrition, and like to eat and prepare good-for-you foods. But if grace was frequently absent, and loved ones were regularly malnourished in spirit or fellowship, it would be a crushing loss.
All the “right” food I had eaten and prepared wouldn’t matter a whit in the end.
Law, for me, can be caring more about my personal efforts in bringing a beautiful, healthy meal to the table than in the overall nourishment of the person sitting next to me. What might his soul might be hungry for? Law for many health and fitness enthusiasts is being ruled by the “healthy” (law), all the while missing the “happy” (grace).
Can you really be healthy without being nourished in your deepest places?
Nope. I can spend oodles of time in skirmishes that are a drain and a distraction and don’t touch my real hunger. I can’t be all things to the world. When I attempt such stupidity, enemy tanks roll through the neglected base camp that really need attention, like my heart.
Our hearts and minds are the battlefield where this all plays out, friends, not the fridge or the gym.
We only have so many days, only so many breaths, where do we want to get really serious and fight for the things that matter?
Just a reminder, you’ve heard me say many times before that our bodies are not the enemy.
Neither is food.
Neither are people.
When I battle my own body and don’t trust my own nutritional instincts, when I compare myself to others, the enemy laughs all the way to the bank.
When I believe my body, or food, or another person is my ultimate problem, I will live as a POW in the world’s concentration camp.
We need to examine our hearts on this issue. At the risk of sounding too dramatic, there is a real war going that is eroding our souls and eating our mothers and daughters alive. And to be clear, the war is not out there, somewhere…
It’s in us.
As part of the culture, we want to win the Battle of Control just as much as the next person. We want to be the most attractive person in the room on every level, because this is control. We work hard so that all heads will stop, turn, and listen intently to the important things we have to say when we are present. We want our husbands to be so smitten with us that they would never dream of doing anything but our bidding.
You must know by now that the world finds you wanting. If not, so sorry to be the one to break it to you. Most of us found out when we were about ten that none of us is up to par. If you are acceptable today, you most certainly won’t be tomorrow.
The culture assaults us shamelessly with propaganda and wears us down. “You need lots of help.” the world insists. “You cannot win this battle, you are powerless without us. You will not be heard, or taken seriously, without bowing to us. You cannot be loved without our help. You don’t know what’s good for you, but we do!”
“It will cost you $199/month, starvation, and your soul. Raise the white flag, and welcome to your new life where you will never be good enough.”
Do you see why we are asked to be in the world, but not of it? It’s ugly.
But, be strong and courageous, saints. The enemy wants you to forget who you are, but you must remember your story.
There is only one of you, and you were fashioned beautifully, with great love. God himself breathed life in you at the start and continues to do so each day. The war has been won decisively, at great cost to God himself, and you are not sent into battle alone.
There are things worth fighting for.
The battle worth fighting for today is for JOY, not being skinny and living to a hundred-and-ten.
So repent again (that just means make a strong about-turn and go hard in the opposite direction) and fight on, because a “healthy” life without joy would be a terrible loss.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.