Are you starving yourself?

I’ve been sick with some kind of cold virus lately, and it seems to have affected my appetite, putting me off most food and even *gasp* coffee!

But I know that it can be a vicious cycle – feeling too sick to eat, then feeling weak because I haven’t eaten, then being sick for longer as my body struggles to recover.

So even though I didn’t feel like it, I forced myself to eat things that my body needs – red meat, veggies, egg and (yes) coffee. It’s not a fantastic experience, eating with a blocked nose. But I see the benefits of nourishing my body when I have that little bit of extra strength returning and I’m that little bit less cranky.

Whether or not I feel like eating is irrelevant. My body needs food so I should eat.

And sure, sometimes we do need to stay away from food for a while when we’re sick. But this can only be a temporary thing, or it becomes hazardous to our health.

It made me think about how we approach reading the Bible.

In her interview on the Sheologians podcast, Rachel Jankovic encourages women to feast on the spiritual food that God has made freely available to us – His word, the Bible.

Why would we spiritually starve ourselves or try to get by on crumbs, when we have an absolute feast available in His word daily?

Since doing the Summer reading plan and now the Bible reading challenge (in which we will read the entire Bible in 9 months), I’ve become much more aware of my own need for His word, daily. I haven’t managed to keep up with the set readings each day, but the amazing thing is that after spending so long making this habit and enjoying the Bible daily, I actually miss and long for God’s word when I do miss a few days.

Here are some signs I’ve noticed that tell me my spirit is “starving” for a Bible feast:

  • I am more irritable around people.
  • I am more direction-less in my day – not really knowing what I should do next.
  • I scroll through social media mindlessly.
  • I am more easily discouraged by difficult circumstances.

When I notice those things, it’s a sure sign to me that I haven’t been in the Word.

When was the last time you ate?


 

Related: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/women-we-need-his-word

 

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Emotional First Aid

I woke up grumpy the other day.

Well, to be more precise, I woke up with the expectation of being grumpy. And my expectations were abundantly met.

I’d been battling through various illnesses with the kids and myself for weeks, and was just getting on top of the conjunctivitis going through the last kid to get it.

I’d gone to bed mentally scolding no one in particular, “If I wake up to one more sick kid…”

Sure enough, I woke to find the familiar goop had returned to the eyes of the youngest child – the first one to catch it.

I wanted to scream and stamp my foot. I wanted to punch something. Hard.

But instead, I stuffed that mess back inside it’s box and let out a big sigh. Then I got on with cleaning the goopy eyes, administering eye drops and making breakfast.

And as I worked away at my tasks, still nursing my anger like a newborn baby, I felt that gentle prodding of the Holy Spirit. Like the sharp end of a stick, pointing out my sinful attitude and refusing to let me stay in it.

Because it can be tempting to nurse our anger and frustration sometimes. There are so many sources out there that will tell us that “venting” is okay and complaining is totally normal, but in the Bible, we read that grumbling against God’s provisions for us (which includes the good and the bad) is wickedness.

In Numbers 14, verse 27, God says:

How long shall this wicked congregation grumble against me? I have heard the grumblings of the people of Israel, which they grumble against me.

Sometimes you can’t just make yourself “snap out of it” though. And God sees our heart – he’s not interested in plastered smiles and sing-songy voices.

God sees our heart - he's not interested in plastered smiles and sing-songy voices.

 

When I feel stuck in a bad attitude, here’s how I apply some “emotional first aid” and turn it around – I remember these truths, found in God’s word, and I preach them to myself:

  • God is holy – He is set apart and there is no one like Him.
  • God is good – everything He does and is is good.
  • God made me and is the boss of me – not only is God my creator, but as a Christian, he is also my Lord and King.
  • God has saved me from my sins and the consequences of them.
  • God gives me every spiritual blessing I need – I am lacking nothing.
  • God is sanctifying me – he is working on me from the inside out, to make me more like Christ every day.

Sometimes there are other thoughts that flow from those, but generally speaking, it’s pretty hard to continue with my bad attitude after getting through that list!

Now, these are things I know to be true. When I go through them, I’m not trying to convince myself, I’m just trying to remember – to bring these things to the front of my mind.

And as I remember the truth about who God is, it reminds me of who I am and who I am becoming. And fills my heart with thankfulness instead of bitterness.