In a world that believes that God is not relevant to our lives today, it continues to amaze me at how much He can take the normal, mundane things of life and interject His wisdom and presence into them.
My place of employment has an extensive wellness program. They actually pay us extra to be healthy. We can earn up to $500.00 per year if we exercise, educate ourselves, and see doctors on a regular basis.
In February, they announced that they were sponsoring a 17 week weight watchers program for any employee who was interested. We pay for the program up front, but if we meet our weight loss goal, they will reimburse us all but a very small portion of cost of the program. I had been investigating different weight loss programs because I have packed on some pounds through the years and they need to come off. Frankly, looking at the internet was just frustrating. What one doctor advocates, another refutes. So I did what any Christian would do, I prayed and asked God to help me. Not two days later, this weight watchers opportunity came up. I just felt like this was my answer to prayer. Weight watchers is a time tested, proven weight loss program so I figured that I could learn some things from them.
I have learned quite a bit, I have to admit. I was never very knowledgeable about the chemistry of nutrition. My knowledge of chemistry, except the chemistry between my husband and I of course, is very limited. I’ve always thought an element is a brand name of clothing at the mall.
I’ve been attending the meetings now for several weeks and I’ve lost a considerable amount of weight. It has been surprisingly easy because I have just followed the plan. Yes, I have days when I have to dip into my extra point stockpile, like my Friday night jaunts to a local restaurant. And there are days when it’s hard to make the healthier choice but I am never sorry that I did when I step on the scale and see numbers I have not seen in many years. Most days I don’t even have to look up the point value or portion size because I am becoming more familiar with them and I just naturally select the right thing. What’s really surprising to me is the gradual change in my taste buds. They are more discerning than they were before. Because I eat so many fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, when I do “indulge” in some chips or something processed, I can taste the chemicals and I find them repulsive.
I am thinking that I will easily be able to reach my 17 week weight goal if I discipline myself and continue to follow the plan.
In thinking about this, I just couldn’t help but see the similarities to our spiritual lives.
God has a proven and time tested plan for us to be healthy. It’s called His Word. In His Word, He has carefully laid out instructions for us to follow if we hope to live a healthy spiritual life and reach our goal of spending eternity in His presence. Like my eating plan, if I follow it, it’s not hard. The Bible tells us that although “sin is pleasurable for a season”, “the way of the sinner is hard.” If we refuse to follow the Bible’s plan for living, we will have some pleasurable experiences along the way, but in the end sin will bring sickness, poverty and death, both emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Just as I found that following the weight watchers plan was not nearly as hard as I thought it would be, following the commands of the Lord “are not burdensome.” Granted there are days when temptation comes, we find ourselves weakened by circumstances or situations, and we need a little extra help but It is then that we can “approach the throne of grace to find grace and help in the time of need.” Just as I have a point stockpile for weight watchers, God has abundant grace for each of us everyday. It is “more than we could ask or think” and it works in us.
What is the work it does in us? It changes or sanctifies us, ridding us of hidden sin and fleshly desires. It makes us more like Christ in our attitudes. It’s like the gradual change in the tastebuds. When temptation to sin comes, it will repulse us, much like the taste of chemicals in processed food does me now and we will have no desire to partake in that temptation.
At 17 weeks into weight watchers, I will be rewarded with the return of the cost of the program and hopefully some new clothes. I won’t be all the way through the process because I intend to keep on losing weight even after I reach my 17 week goal. But I will continue, one point at a time, one day at a time.
Spiritually speaking, we will be rewarded as well, if we are found faithfully following the plan. We will get some new clothes too! But until then we need to set our sights on the “upward call of God in Christ” and depend daily on the grace of God to strengthen us, one point at a time, one pound at a time, one day at a time until we are with Jesus. It’s a time tested method that truly works!