A Very Present Help in Trouble

For those of you who don't know, I have, once again, begun a journey toward better health, and I am determined to not get distracted this time.  I have weight to lose, energy to gain and hormones to balance, so I can't afford to not see this thing through.  I began my journey last Monday, and I am already seeing some improvements, but that's not to say that the road has been easy.  I must admit, however, that it has been easier than I anticipated, if you don't count the withdrawal headaches from caffeine and sugar.

Unfortunately, yesterday the cravings came on with a vengeance.  They literally woke me from my sound sleep and promised me joy and pleasure beyond belief if I would just give in and have a few naughty treats such as soda, junk food and processed food.  I groaned in frustration when I realized that I had already made plans to go to the grocery store that day.  It was easy to avoid the naughty foods at home because they no longer lingered in my house, but with the cravings already pulling at me, I feared my willpower would crumble in the midst of all the goodies the grocery store had to offer.

Instead of fighting myself and my cravings, I decided to talk to the Lord about my predicament.  I told Him how much I longed to fulfill those fleshly desires to eat food that wasn't good for me, but I also confided that I longed even more to be happy and healthy so that I could serve Him better.  I prayed for strength to withstand the pull of sugar, caffeine and other processed foods as I made my way down the grocery store aisles.  I even pleaded with Him to take the cravings away so that I wouldn't have to deal with them at all.

Well, He didn't take away the cravings, but He did give me strength to resist them, and that's not all.  Before I left the house, I sat down to do my daily Bible reading, and the Lord gave me the verses I needed to carry on in victory.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. - James 1:12-17

Of all the passages I could have read that morning, the Lord had saved this one for me.  These verses reminded me that I am not the only one to face temptation and that I need to be aware of the source of such temptations.  They helped me to see that my cravings were a form of lust, aka sin.  Then, verse 16 records God's words to me, "Do not err."  In other words, "Don't go there, Dana.  You know better."  Lastly, the passage reminded me that good and perfect gifts come from above.  Good and perfect gifts like natural whole foods that fuel and energize the body.  Those are the things I needed to be focusing on.

Even though the cravings remained and are still haunting me today, I was able to go to the store and come home again without even thinking about putting something "naughty" in my shopping cart.  While the cravings were still there, the temptation wasn't.  Those verses lingered in my mind, and instead of mourning what I couldn't have, I was thankful for all the fresh fruits and vegetables that I was able to procure.

Psalm 46:1 tells us, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Yesterday, once again, He proved it to me.  Recognizing my weakness, He gave me the very verses I needed to keep me strong.  He gave me the strength to bypass so many tasty treats without so much as a sigh of regret.  I called, and He answered.  I asked for strength, and He gave me so much more.  Isn't that just like God?