August 17, 2011

My Bible Swallowed Up My Food Journal! :D

Posted in Devotionals, Disability at 2:35 am by Sarah Bosse

This post is about applying the Bible to real-life problems.  Here’s how I did it this week…

My G.I. psychologist gave me some homework last time I saw him, which was our first meeting. He wanted me to start yet another food journal. But the journal he wanted had some different questions to answer each day than the normal journal that I am used to using for tracking the food I eat and what symptoms I have. This one asks me what I ate when having GI symtpoms, what I was doing, what I was thinking about and how much I believed the thoughts (on a scale from 0 to 10), a description of my symptoms (again, with a scale of 0 to 10), and a description of how I felt (and 0 to 10).

Being me, and having large handwriting, there is absolutely no way that I was going to fit all of that on the one piece of paper he gave me, so I added it to my pH notebook. Like any journal I start, I have been painfully honest when I write. For several days, I literally felt like poop (but I used a more colorful word for it). On the days when I was so exhausted that I felt like I might pass out, my mood was about equally bad, and I had several days where I just wanted the day to be over – make it go away! On Sunday I have a pity party, and again God was not in the picture. On Monday I did get a few things done around my home, but my mind was wrapped up around food food food food food.

I tend to see food is the enemy rather than recognizing that Satan and my own flesh is my enemy, though they may take every opportunity to whisper to me that it is actually the food and not them against which I wage this battle. Sounds like deception’s clarion voice to me. It’s time for me to bring the Bible into the most frustrating parts of my life, not only the most painful.  Perhaps my Bible will eat up my food journal like Moses’ snake ate the Egyptian’s serpents? …maybe?…

Please forgive the lack of formatting to differentiate Bible verses from my babble in between.  In my personal journal on my computer it’s color coded, but WordPress wouldn’t allow me to copy and paste any text formatting. Go figure.

Psalm 139:1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!

In light of my distrust of verses 13-16, this takes on more meaning – cleanse me of my anxious thoughts, my fears, expose my ways and thoughts because they are already known to You. There’s an interesting use of tense here.  The psalmist says that God HAS ALREADY searched him and known him – in the PAST.  But by the end of the psalm, you can see the psalmist ASKING for God to search him and know him in the present, and to reveal such things to him for his growth in spiritual maturity.

2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

You know when I stay in bed too long, when I wear out and have to rest, when I rise and how I use my limited energy for YOU (not just me).

you discern my thoughts from afar.

My thoughts matter to You.  They either glorify or dishonor You.

3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.

Because You know all my ways, all my habits, all my thoughts, all my fears…and You know all things in my life (past, present, future) and how they will work out in the end (Rom 8:28), You are in the unique position of guiding me.

4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

You know the full measure of my words both spoken and silenced.

5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.

Even when I feel sick, Your hand is upon me; even when I’m worn out, You are behind and before me, protecting me and guiding me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

But it is the glory of kings to seek out a matter (Prov 25), and I’m honored to be able to try to understand even a part of these truths.

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!

If I am sick in bed, You are there.

9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

If I am lonely and alone, unable even to be around other people for weariness…

10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;

You can find me there – it’s not dark to You, so I’m not lost – You still see me even when I cannot see anything and I’m blinded by weariness and/or depression.

the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.
13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

Am I to be angry at You for how you made me? Is the clay to complain to the potter because the potter didn’t give it a long handle? Is not some for honorable and other for dishonorable use?  What should my response be to knowing that God Himself made me for His glory, even when it hurts?  I will praise Him…

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.

And when my soul doesn’t know it very well, that’s where faith comes in and trusts.

15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

I imagine You smiling as You carefully, “intricately,” form one You love, as you enjoy the secrecy of it, the inability of man to imitate Your works which You have kept for Yourself.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

That’s the days of pain, joy, sorrow, gratitude, a time for every season under the sun.  You already knew them and how my life would play out before I was born.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.

If He thinks so many thoughts that I cannot fathom, how likely is it that He’s worked out all these things (written about my life) so that they will glorify Him even when I don’t understand HOW – the He DOES comprehend what I see as a mystery? Very likely!

I awake, and I am still with you. ….

Doesn’t matter if I’m awake or asleep.  Night terrors can’t separate us.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!

Do I really want Him to “try me”?  Sure feels like that’s what He has been doing lately.  I feel stretched thin in so many directions.  The psalmist is actually ASKING for this, so that He might know God more and Honor Him more and be Lead in the way everlasting – it’s an exercise of growth for the psalmist and me too.  *Wink to self.*

24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

God’s way is the only everlasting way, the only way that will have a glorious eternity.

Romans 8: 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, When I am thinking about my challenges, I’m thinking about the flesh, about things that will end and pass away, and I am not looking to spiritual realities but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit I need to trust God for His purposes and seek to glorify Him through my attitude about suffering in light of the cross and the suffering Jesus bore for me. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace Life and peace sounds better to me and definitely a better gift to others!. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God I don’t want to be hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you Yay!. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him L. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness Whose righteousness? Christ’s Righteousness!. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you The ability, through the Spirit, to do what in the body (mind included) is impossible due to weakness and the flesh.

8:23b we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons It drives me to the cross and the Word of God, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Am I being patient and exercising faith and trust in the promise? Am I claiming the promise as my own? Am I seeing this suffering as temporary and God’s glorification through my attitude as eternal? 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. Thank Goodness!  For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Thank You, God, for praying for me.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? If God is for me, what disease can be against me? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?…35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Do I doubt the love of God when the list below is dished out in my life? I have no Biblical reason to, yet there have been many times that I’ve accused God of not loving me BECAUSE He allowed the following.  I often forget about verses 37-39. Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword, or weariness, or depression, or fear, or sickness, or difficult relationships, or lack of finances, or malnutrition, or hunger…? 36 As it is written,37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. I am a conqueror BECAUSE He loved (and loves) me. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, (not ONLY all the things in the previous list (verse 35), but also all the other things listed here!…can separate me from the love of God) nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It Hurts, But He Has Not Forgotten.

 

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