Sunday morning at church a friend noticed my shrinking body. After establishing that I am purposely losing weight she asked me how I did it. My answer, “I stopped eating what I shouldn’t be eating.” She looked slightly disappointed in my answer. I went on to say that doing so is the only way to lose weight.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a different answer? Everybody is looking for a different answer. Proclaiming to have a different answer is a multi-billion dollar industry.
I have always wanted instant weight-loss. I remember years and years (and years) ago I was convinced that God would miraculously make me skinny. I dreamed of going to bed fat one night and wake up in the morning skinny. I planned what I would do when I suddenly had no clothes that could fit me. No surprise that this never happened. Despite this fact, the Holy Spirit recently said to me, “Laura, one day you will wake up skinny… as long as you keep following the path that makes it happen.” God has given me a way out of fathood. It just isn’t the way I want it to be. The formula is simple: eat less + move more. Simple – yes. Easy – no. It requires discipline, self-denial, sacrifice, exercise, commitment and patience.
It’s an old joke:
One day there was a preacher giving his sermon when all of a sudden it started raining really hard! After about an hour of non-stop rain, the congregation started evacuating the church because the whole church was flooding. But the preacher just stood there in the ankle-deep water. A guy in a car drove up to him and yelled. “Preacher, Preacher you better get in here before you drown!” But the preacher just replied “Don’t worry God will save me.” The man then said “Whatever!” and drove away.
The water was now knee-deep and a guy in a raft came over to the Preacher and said “Preacher, Preacher you better get in here before you drown!” Despite the second warning the Preacher just stood there and replied “Don’t worry God will save me.” The man then said “Whatever!!” and rowed away in the orange raft. The water was now waist-deep and a guy in a power boat came to the Preacher and said “Preacher, Preacher you better get in here before you drown!” Despite the third warning the Preacher just stood there and replied “Don’t worry God will save me.” With that the man said “Whatever!” and jetted away in the power boat.
Finally the water was now neck-deep and a guy in a helicopter came and said “Preacher, Preacher you better get in here before you drown!” The man still just stood there and replied “Don’t worry God will save me.” And with that the man said “Whatever” and flew away. The water then got so deep that the Preacher was sucked under and drowned. When he opened his eyes he realized that he had died and gone to heaven. He then saw God and asked with great concern “God! Why didn’t you save me from that horrible flood?!?”
God replied, ” I sent you a car, a raft, a power boat, and a helicopter! What else did you want me to do?!”
There are so many circumstances in life that we cry out for God to rescue us from. Usually His answer is, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21*) But, for whatever reason, that way doesn’t appeal to us. Maybe it’s dark and unknown. Maybe it requires letting go. Maybe we fear what people will say. So, we choose not to take that path. We end up deeper in trouble, fatter, poorer, etc. And we wonder why God hasn’t rescued us.
I often hear people who are overwhelmed with their circumstances say, “God promises that He won’t give us more than we can bear.” Yes, God gave us that promise in 1 Corinthians 10:13:
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.
But that is only the first half of the verse. Take a look at the second half:
But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
God provides us a way out. It is still up to us to take that way. The choice is ours.