Tuesday, July 19, 2005

One Year

On July 19, 2004 the Lord began a great, wholly unbelievable thing. In great kindness He convicted me of the sin of gluttony and general self-indulgence and set about putting me on the path to repentance and freedom. One year later I am humbled and in great awe of all He has accomplished. Time and again, as people notice the physical change, they marvel at my self-control and discipline and time and time again I have to shake my head and give glory to the ONLY one to whom it belongs.

I am not a self-controlled person. There are still areas that I need discipline in, badly. Yet though there are long-standing habits and patterns of sin that are no longer a part of my life and haven’t been for a year…I know that their absence has nothing to do with me and therefore I am utterly and completely incapable of getting any other area under control. But, He is infinitely capable…and like He has done this past year (starting me on a plan I would never have chosen and using it to affect change in what I saw as completely un-related areas), He can and will do the same – above and beyond all I could hope or imagine – in these other areas of my life.

To commemorate the one year mark, I took photos of myself. I didn’t really want to take them. Since my last set of progress photos in March I haven’t lost more than 10 or 15 pounds. I spent most of that time on a plateau and have only recently begun to lose again. All the while, people continued to comment on how I looked and that they could still see I was losing. I thought they were just being nice. When I compared the one year pictures to the ones from March, I was shocked. There really was a difference and they really weren’t just being nice…

Still, when I look in the mirror, I see what I’ve always seen. And as my last post exemplifies, my thoughts are also still affected by my perception of myself. In both things, the Lord is faithful to give me glimpses of truth and eyes of faith to expose the lie and strengthen me. He has also been faithful to humble me and show me the pride that underlies my thoughts and feelings.

The past two weeks have been very swirly with thoughts and feelings contrary to the truth of God. My heart has been filled many times with yearnings for things that the Lord has determined to deny me right now. The truth is that He is kind to do so…His character prevents Him from being otherwise. The truth is also that I tend to focus more on the denial than the kindness.

Lord forgive me…you have done much…much more than I deserve. Thank you for your kindness in denials and in things I easily regard as blessings. Please help me to trust you more than I trust my ability to rightly assess my circumstances. Fix my eyes and heart on you…change my heart so that my motives will be for your glory and not my own. Forgive my weariness in doing good…and thank you that your response what to encourage rather than chastise. You are too good to me! I do not deserve your kindness and favor, yet you give it. Remind me of this that I might be grow in humility. Thank you for what you have done this year...and for what you are doing it for.

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