Previously, in Stuff That Has Happened to Stacy:

  • I got really, really obese.
  • I tried many, many times to lose weight and failed.
  • I took extreme measures and lost a lot of weight, taking me from morbidly obese to just overweight.
  • I blew it.

I was scared and delighted. I could real food again. I could once again experience that, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing,” sensation. (Google it, kids.) I could once again turn to that which had given me pleasure no matter how I was feeling. Food was back on the throne. I don’t think it ever left. Even though, for a while, I couldn’t eat like I once had, food still controlled my thoughts, my plans, my emotions, and my life. It had just been in a different way.

That’s when it hit me. I don’t remember the exact moment that the light bulb went on, but finally for the first time, I fully and openly admitted that I still had a problem. And my problem wasn’t overeating. My problem wasn’t that I made poor nutrition choices. My problem wasn’t genetic. My problem wasn’t hormonal. My problem wasn’t anything but this: IDOLATRY. I was still worshipping a graven image instead of the one true God.

And my problem would not be fixed by portion control, bariatric surgery, diet pills, exercise or all the kale in the world. The only way for me to get healthy was to allow God to take His rightful place in my life, on the throne as my LORD. God doesn’t take that seat by force. He only sits there when we ask Him to.

My obesity was just a symptom of the bigger problem, and once I identified the underlying issue, I realized I also had other symptoms related to this condition:

  • I have always struggled with a short temper. If God was God of my life, I would have patience and be slow to anger.
  • Eating wasn’t the only area in my life where I lacked discipline. I spent too much money, wasted too much time, didn’t spend time in prayer and study as I should, and often gave into the whims and desires of my flesh.
  • I lacked the fruit of the spirit. If the Holy Spirit was LORD of my life, I would have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. Instead, I was angry, joyless, anxious, and definitely lacked self control.

Besides the fact that “worship no other gods,” is numero uno on the top ten, throughout Scripture, we see the warnings against idolatry and the consequences when we don’t obey.

In Isaiah 44:9-20, we read:

How foolish are those who manufacture idols.
These prized objects are really worthless.
The people who worship idols don’t know this,
so they are all put to shame.
Who but a fool would make his own god—
an idol that cannot help him one bit?
All who worship idols will be disgraced
along with all these craftsmen—mere humans—
who claim they can make a god.
They may all stand together,
but they will stand in terror and shame.
The blacksmith stands at his forge to make a sharp tool,
pounding and shaping it with all his might.
His work makes him hungry and weak.
It makes him thirsty and faint.
Then the wood-carver measures a block of wood
and draws a pattern on it.
He works with chisel and plane
and carves it into a human figure.
He gives it human beauty
and puts it in a little shrine.
He cuts down cedars;
he selects the cypress and the oak;
he plants the pine in the forest
to be nourished by the rain.
Then he uses part of the wood to make a fire.
With it he warms himself and bakes his bread.
Then—yes, it’s true—he takes the rest of it
and makes himself a god to worship!
He makes an idol
and bows down in front of it!
He burns part of the tree to roast his meat
and to keep himself warm.
He says, “Ah, that fire feels good.”
Then he takes what’s left
and makes his god: a carved idol!
He falls down in front of it,
worshiping and praying to it.
“Rescue me!” he says.
“You are my god!”
Such stupidity and ignorance!
Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see.
Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
The person who made the idol never stops to reflect,
“Why, it’s just a block of wood!
I burned half of it for heat
and used it to bake my bread and roast my meat.
How can the rest of it be a god?
Should I bow down to worship a piece of wood?”
The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes.
He trusts something that can’t help him at all.
Yet he cannot bring himself to ask,
“Is this idol that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”

My idol wasn’t carved from a piece of wood or even forged in steel. So, if you will allow me to slightly paraphrase this Scripture to speak more directly to my personal idol, it might go something like this:

How foolish are those who cook up, fry up, or order up idols.
These prized delicacies are really worthless.
The people who worship food don’t know this,
so they are all put to shame.
Who but a fool would make her own god—
a biggie sized cheeseburger combo meal that cannot help her one bit?
All who worship chocolate will be disgraced
along with all these craftsmen—mere humans—
who claim they can bake a god.
They may all stand together,
but they will stand in terror and shame.
The baker stands at her butcher block to make bread and pastries, kneading the dough,
pounding and shaping it with all her might.
Her work makes her hungry and weak.
It makes her thirsty and faint.
Then the butcher measures a hunk of meat
and draws a pattern on it with a knife where she tucks little pieces of herbs and garlic.
She works with tongs and fork,
and carves it into a beautiful fillet.
She gives it a beautiful sear
and adds a bit pat of butter.
She cuts down sugar cane;
she selects the grain to refine and “enrich” for processed snack cakes.
she plants the potatoes, which will make a tasty side to that steak,
to be nourished by the rain.
Then she uses wood to make a fire.
With it she warms herself and bakes her bread. (I didn’t even have to change this!)
Then—yes, it’s true—she takes the rest of it
and makes herself a five-course meal — a god to worship!
She makes an idol
and bows down in front of it, pulls her chair to the table, and digs in.
She burns part of the tree to roast her meat. (I didn’t have to change this either.)
and to keep herself warm.
She says, “Ah, that fire feels good and the food tastes delicious!”
Then she takes what’s left (if there is any)
and puts it in a doggie bag.
She falls down in front of it,
worshiping and praying to it.
“Rescue me!” she says. “Make me feel better. Rescue me from boredom and anxiety!”
“You are my god!”
Such stupidity and ignorance!
Their eyes are closed, and they cannot see.
Their minds are shut, and they cannot think.
The person who made the idol of food never stops to reflect,
“Why, it’s just a piece of bread, a hunk of meat, a candy bar, a bag of chips (insert your god of choice here)!
I ate half of it for lunch
and used the rest to occupy me while I watched reality TV.
How can any of this be a god?
Should I bow down to worship a piece of cake?”
The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes.
She trusts something that can’t help her at all.
Yet she cannot bring herself to ask,

“Is this donut that I’m holding in my hand a lie?”

 

Read the Next Post in My Wellness Journey

The Bread of Life

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