So many people I know are struggling!
- Weight/Body Image
It is very likely that you, or someone close to you, is struggling with one or more of these issues. In my life I have struggled with grief, loss, and sometimes weight control. In my circle of friends, I have struggled with someone in all of these areas. It is amazing that such a short list can encompass so many. How do we become an overcomer?
When we have lived our lives dependent on someone or something for our identity, image, or self-worth we will struggle. When we are asked to give it up we can become upset. The triteness of “just quit” cuts deeply. In the life of Jesus we find a moment, an interaction, that will help us define and decide to move forward. Overcoming addiction, dependency, emotional baggage, and more is possible.
1. Is your life right now what you want it to be? Jesus asked the man at the pool if he wanted to be made well. It seems like a ridiculous question. Yet, if I am not in a position to admit my need for help I will not find it. Many of us might answer this question with “NO!”, but fail to act on that understanding. We continue to wallow in the pain. We continue to satisfy the obsession/addiction with unhealthy options. This man had been on a mat for 38 years. His life was not what he wanted, but he did not have a solution until Jesus offered one. He wanted to be made well, but did not have the ability to do so himself. Until we come to a point of acceptance in our inability, we cannot find the joy of Jesus’ ability.
2. Have the courage to look beyond your past. Jesus told the man to stand and walk. You tried diets. You have tried therapy. You might have even done rehab. What I am suggesting is not spiritual rhetoric. The point is that Jesus healed the man the moment he spoke. This guy had to look past the 38 years and have believe. The man could have chosen to remain on the mat, logically concluding that nothing happened. He could have added up all the years and not believed in the word of Jesus. Overcoming your current obstacle begins with admitting the problem, but cannot move forward until we believe in what Jesus can, and has already, done!
3. Embrace what you have. This man got up and walked away. Look at this again. He got up and walked away! The same guy who had been lying there for 38 years now got up and walked away. he had not worked for 38 years. He had not, probably, seen his family for 38 years. He was stepping back into society physically as an adult, but socially as a child. When we break through the obstacles before, and within, us there will moments of rediscovery. You will not have all the confidence. You will not have it all together. Embrace what you do have: a deepening love and relationship with Jesus.
4. Not everyone will understand. People will find a problem. Friends will still have painful memories that you are trying to get beyond. Family might be distant. You might hear things like, “You can’t possibly think you can stay clean and sober.”, or “You will never have a normal family life again.” Two boys were walking to school when they noticed they were about to be late, which was severely unacceptable. One boy suggests they stop and pray that they would not be late. The other one suggests running as fast as possible and pray along the way. Prayer and work go together. Faith and action go together. Nobody else has lived your life. Nobody else knows the decision to trust in Jesus that you have made like you do.
Overcoming the obstacles we face in life is never easy. Those obstacles are filled with pain, pride, grief, and tragedy. However, Jesus offered this man a new life. He offers you one as well. These steps to overcoming are a great beginning point. For further understanding feel free to comment or contact me.