I’m feeling a lot like Paul when he wrote in his letter to the Christians in Rome, “What a wretched [woman] I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24-25the word in brackets is mine)
What does this mean?! Well, I will explain. I’m still a sinner! I’m a Christian woman, with a heart for God’s Word, and I do love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, but, sisters, I still have a body that will fall like lead when I am not active and vigilant.
Last summer I wrote to you all about my journey back from obesity to healthy eating and exercise. Should I only tell you of my successes? Should I leave it there on a silver platter like it is a completed novel, or should I confirm for you the truth? Life continues on, and I have found that this is not a battle won. It is a battle I have chosen to take on and give to the LORD to conquer for me. There are days, and I must admit here that there have been months, that I have not.
As my article about my health journey was posted for you, I had already walked the 8.5 miles from the lake to my house with one of my sons. My pastor’s wife joined us to celebrate losing over 150 pounds on her own health journey. Our combined weight loss was just under the weight I had begun my journey weighing in at, and we spent the walk talking about the ups and downs of our journeys and enjoying the day. It was a splendid day for a celebratory walk, but it ended up being one of the only days throughout that entire summer that I concentrated on my health. Ironically, I walked into the most dangerous time of year for myself – VBS season – and I fell back into old habits.
VBS season has always meant long hours working and snacking instead of stopping to make good, healthy meals for myself. It also meant not finding time to get in workouts, and I didn’t sleep as my body needed. I’d lost so much weight in the year before that I allowed myself to be lulled into a sense of perpetual accomplishment and indestructibility that destroyed the discipline I had worked so hard to instill in myself. VBS came and went, and I just went into the next big project, continuing to forget about all that I had rebuilt and why. Then October blew in, and I realized I was not fitting into my jeans the way I had been.
There was a fork in the road, and I had to make a decision. Would I go left? Would I buy bigger pants and put the disappointment behind me as I have done in the past? Or would I go right? Would I wake up, buck up, and get back on the path my health journey had brought me to; a new me?
When we fall back into the sin we have been delivered from, what do we do? Well, I would like to encourage you to study the eighth chapter of Romans. Sisters, walk into His glory. By the grace of God we are given life anew, and the indwelling of the Spirit is given to those who will live according to Him. Paul wrote to the Galatians, chapter 1 verse 5, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” I will not be a slave to food and inactivity; I choose to be able to run the race He has set before me.
Lord Almighty, You are my conqueror. You are my champion. You are my rock. I ask You to bless my sisters in their own struggles with sin. May they turn from their sin when they come to the fork in the road. May we see the challenge and automatically see it conquered; You have already broken the power it had over us in the past. Break those chains. LORD, break our chains! We are free, Halleluiah! We are free from slavery in sin because of You, Lord Jesus, Lamb of God. Thank You! Thank You. Be blessed, I pray, in your holy name. Amen.