"I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but i don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time." Romans 7: 18-20 (MSG)
As I was reading this chapter in Romans this morning, I was totally convicted about my struggle with dieting and exercising. I have read this verse so many times before but there have always been other sins and struggles that have come to the forefront of my mind. This morning, I believe the Lord was talking directly to my heart. Why? Because, just last night I was telling Jeremy that part of the reason I don't give everything I have to get active and loose weight is because I know how sore I'm going to be the next few days (cough-weeks).
The interesting thing is that I've been having conversations with God about my focus over the past 11+ months. I have been so focused on praying that he would work out our adoption, bring us our child and let us get out of this place of waiting. I've grown uncomfortable with asking for prayer for this so often and not seeing anything else in my life that needs attention. So, I've been praying that he would help me see other areas in my life that need him. Areas that I've ignored because of this pressing "problem" (see previous post) of being childless.
This morning, he saw fit to give me an area to work on. So many times in my life I have determined to loose weight, thinking, "If I just stick to program ______ or work-out ___ many times a week then I will loose all the weight I want to loose." Then, a week...two days...one day into the program/work-out schedule I give up. Recently, I don't think it would even be right to label this a struggle, since I've pretty much accepted where I am and given up hope that it will change. That is, until I read Paul's struggle in Romans again.
At first glance, those verses seem utterly discouraging. I'm doomed to do what I don't want to do and not do what I want to do. It seems as though there is no escape. However, the answer comes later on in in verses 24-25, "I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different."
My problem has been that I've tried to loose this weight on my own, for my own reasons, focusing on myself and how I can make myself feel better about myself. This morning I was encouraged to wage war on this part of myself. How am I going to do it? I have no idea right now. But I know that God is able to do this and I need to let him lead. He has conquered this sin and it is only by his strength that I will be able to have any success.
I'm thankful for a new struggle to lift up to God. I know that I will be sore, physically, mentally and spiritually. However, as God has told us, "My strength comes into its own in your weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) Pray with me that I will not focus on my own efforts, but be obedient and trust God's plan for my life and health.