God is not mad at you. He's madly in love with you. I've been talking about keys for spiritual weight loss this week, and that is the vitally important second key.
There is no better way to fully embrace, believe and get this truth inside of us than to remember what God has done for us and how He has shown His love to us through all our days.
Memorial to God
Many times in the Bible, God reminds us not to forget what He has done for us or for our ancestors. A good example is when He instructed Joshua to build a memorial. Memorials help us remember. They aren't just statues or piles of rocks; they are markers on our journey to remind us of how very much God loves us.
Moses died just before the children of Israel were ready to cross into the promised land. Now, they were faced with crossing the Jordan River at flood stage.
God gave Joshua a plan. He told him to choose 12 men, one from each tribe, to carry the ark of the covenant ahead of the people. When their feet touched the water's edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing and piled up. The priests stepped on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan River's bed while all of Israel crossed over on dry ground (Josh. 3:15-17).
This was a miracle of monstrous proportions, reminding this new generation of what happened when God did a similar thing when their ancestors fled Egypt and God parted the Red Sea under Moses' command (Ex. 14:21-31).
God didn't want the people to forget what He had done for them, so He told Joshua to have 12 men go into the river bed and get a stone. They carried the stones to Gilgal and built a memorial to the Lord to remind them of the miracle God did.
God told them that He did this to remind them that the hand of the Lord is powerful (Josh. 4:23).
God's Love Is Powerful
We need to do the same thing today when God steps in and turns around situations we are sure there is no answer to. It's only because of His great love for us that He does that. His love is powerful!
However, for some reason, we get to the point where we feel we are so overwhelmed by life's problems that God is pointing His long-reaching finger at us in anger, and so we run and hide.
We don't understand that just the opposite is true. God loves us madly. He would do anything to get us to first, fall at His feet in repentance and surrender, and second, to pick us back up and love us back into living full-on for Him.
We are His children. "See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1a, NIV).
God Never Stops Loving Us
No matter what we've done or not done that we think have made Him angry with us, He says, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!" (Jer. 31:3, MSG).
I build memorials by writing journals that turn into blog posts and eventually become books. It is my way of remembering how God has worked in my life and passing it on for the next generation to read.
I've written several times about how God led me to lose over 250 pounds. After I wrote my first book, Sweet Grace, God called me to coach. It was a scary time for me because I didn't feel I had the gifts to coach.
Yes, I had to experience of losing weight myself. I had training as a certified life coach. However, I also had more of a justice motive, which means I saw things more as black and white, either you do it or you don't. I knew enough to know that if I was going to coach women who had been where I was, I was going to need something else from God.
God and I were carrying on this discussion in my mind, and I remember exactly where I was. I was walking into the community pool where I exercise during the weekdays. I was remembering how patient, love, kind and gracious God had been with me on my journey, never scolding me, even though I deserved it, but always calling me back to Him with mercy and compassion.
"God you know I don't have compassion for those who are where I was," I confessed. "God, give me mercy. Give me compassion so I can coach others out of the bondage of food addiction."
I sensed He said, "You have what you have asked for." No bells sounded. No bright lights. But as I walked out of the locker room into the pool area, I saw the people I'd seen every day for years with different eyes.
I had to restrain myself from running up and hugging every morbidly obese person in there. I knew that would get me nowhere. So I silently prayed for openings to share with them and to open my eyes to others who are hurting.
I Pray for You
That was five years ago. Today, I've shared with countless of those who are hurting and aching from this deep and wounding addiction that they prefer to keep silent, but their very bodies betray them and shout for help. I pray for openings. I pray for ways to reach those who are genuinely ready for help.
I pray for you. God is not mad at you for gaining weight. Oh, no, my friend. He is madly in love with you and desperately wants to lead you to a peaceful and lasting victory in Him.
Here's a question for you to ponder. Do you throw in the towel every time you have a small failure on any diet or weight loss program you try to undertake? That may be because down deep inside, you think God is mad at you for your failure. Oh, friend, He's not. He wants to help you even more!
Sometimes all you need is a little encouragement, some solid resources, a lot of motivation and someone to come alongside you to encourage, support, challenge and spur you on to victory. Right now is a great time to get started on your journey.
Teresa Shields Parker is the author of five books and two study guides including her latest, Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy, and her No. 1 best-seller, Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds. She is also a blogger, coach and speaker at TeresaShieldsParker.com.
This article originally appeared at teresashieldsparker.com.
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