Good Riddance

I could not believe it.  I had expected a certain number and it wasn’t there. The three digital numbers on the scale represented months of healthier choices, hours of cooking planned meals for myself and my family and hundreds of sweaty minutes of cardio workouts and weight lifting.  I was overcome with complete disappointment,  the direction I had been hearing for awhile interrupted my swirling thoughts and I knew what I had to do.

I showered and got dressed. The blow dryer muffled the sobs as I recognized I was in chains to this scale.  I reasoned with myself, “Just put it back up on the garage shelf, out of the house and away from your bathroom. It will be fine to keep weighing in just once a month. ” I told myself a firm no, agreeing with the Spirit as he nudged me on to do what he asked of me months ago.

I placed the white scale on the concrete floor of my husband’s garage. I worked my way eyeing  his tool shelves, looking for just the right one. I found a large red tool, it was so heavy duty weighing around 10 pounds. I stood over the scale one last time and spoke loudly as the Spirit’s energy inside began to stir. “Good Riddance” and I swung once. A few swings later and I had destroyed that health-o-meter scale.  When it was over, I felt the Lords peace flood my soul as I swept up the black and white pieces from the floor.

Nobody was witness to my act of obedience except the Lord. He knew the scale had become my idol a long time ago.  When my life seemed out of control, I had looked for something to control. And I found a subject worth dictating into submission: My weight.  The number it read to me day after day, would make me very happy or very sad. The lifeless white plastic gadget with flashing numbers operated by batteries had become a stumbling block for my own mind and soul. The Spirit had told me to get rid of it, to break it to pieces like some of the Kings in the Old Testament had broken down Asherah Poles and smashed down the alters to Baal. Yet I ignored that still small voice for a long time.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking down to those who are watching their weight for health consciousness or need to lose weight for medical reasons. Yet I am not on Doctors orders to lose weight, I took that position up myself. I let the scale and the number on it become an idol ever so slowly.   I definitely believe in eating healthy and working out these amazing temples we call our bodies.  Yet a certain diet, the number on the scale even the gym workouts can become an idol if our hearts allow it to be.Our God takes Idol worship seriously because it is so dangerous to our souls.  God himself is to be our number one. If we put any person, possession, activity, hobby or self image whether good or bad, in front of him- then we are worshiping idols.

“Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, he will be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. Then you will destroy all your silver idols and your precious gold images. You will throw them out like filthy rags, saying to them,” Good riddance!” Isaiah 30:22 NLT

This passage in Isaiah stood out to me because God is saying the Israelite’s would turn to him and destroy their idols, when the saw their Teacher (Jesus) with their own eyes and heard his Voice giving them direction (Holy Spirit). Friends, yesterday I broke my scale.  I shattered it to pieces because  I knew as long as the “idol of self image and weight measurement” was on the throne, it would block Jesus from being in his rightful place as the King in my heart. I heard him tell me to destroy it numerous times and I finally obeyed. Today my heart cries out in freedom:  I will not settle for an idol of self image, an idol of a scale number defining my worth or a jean size saying I am a victor or a failure.

Friends, today I pray that you too will see Jesus your Teacher with new eyes, be refreshed when your hear his voice through the Holy Spirit and you will break down whatever idol is keeping you from living your life in  freedom.   The Creator of the Universe, The Teacher of the Way, the Savior of the World calls you and me beautiful, perfect, loved, forgiven, redeemed, created in His image. The number on the scale, no matter how low it goes, will never love us like that.

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A Father to the Fatherless

As a culture a vast majority of us crave identity.    In our quest  for identity we can accomplish great tasks in our life but those accomplishments still don’t truly satisfy the deep longings in our soul. It is great to be known by relation to  who our family is,  a new last name,  a  college degree,  the ministry we head or business we own.  Yet our true identity is not in what we belong to but to “who” we belong to.  As a child, I can distinctly remember reminding myself that  I did not belong to anyone,  because I am a modern day Orphan.

The definition of an Orphan is a child whose mother and father have died or permanently abandoned them.   Well I fit those qualifications, as my mother died when I was six years old and my father permanently abandoned me before I was even born.   In my early childhood my mother remarried and welcomed my two younger sisters in to the world. She started taking us to a home church where the bible was taught, worship music sung and home- cooked meals where set out on tables for potlucks after the service. It was in the small children’s ministry at this home church, where the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord began to sing the sweet song of Salvation to me.

Surrounded by crayons and gospel coloring pages, I remember hearing the name of Jesus for the first time.  The gospel I heard produced what the bible calls a child like faith. I really liked this Jesus we were learning about.  He came to comfort my heart soon after while we sang “Amazing Grace ” and ” I have decided to follow Jesus” at my mother’s funeral service. There I sat in someone’s lap, struggling  to understand her death. The images of my mother in a coma and saying goodbye to her in the hospital  bed, where permanently burned into my mind.

After my mother’s death, I grew up with the lie planted in my heart that I had no identity. Whispers in from inside said that I had no full blood relative, no proper  place in the adoptive family I was being raised in and no true home of my own.  I felt like the little identity I had was buried with my mother.   In my teen years I would struggle with depressive thoughts and longing for love and acceptance.  Half my heart was in heaven with my mom and the other half of my aching heart here on earth. The rejection of knowing my father had never wanted anything to do with me often felt like someone was slowly slicing through my heart with a knife. The Lord knew what I was going through and he intervened.   I attended a bible teaching private school during my freshman year of high school. It was there that the Lord met me the broken girl I was. He reignited the flame he placed in my heart as a child in that home church.  I continued to learn the truth about gospel and God began to heal me slowly on the inside.

I learned that I did have a blood relative his name is Jesus, he shed his blood for the covering of my sins.

Matthew 26:28: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

I did have a place in the family of God according to Romans 8:15 ” We have received God’s spirit when he adopted us  as his own children.

I did have a place- for Psalm 23:6 says “I will live in the House of the Lord Forever!”

His words of freedom where so soothing and healing, like a cup of hot tea on a cold winters day.  I realized I needed a relationship with the Living God more then I needed a relationship with my biological father.  I had the chance to met my Father once while in high school and though it was an emotional experience it was also a closure for me. I saw that he was a broken man not the possible perfect daddy I longed for and he too was in need of a savior.

Fourteen years have passed since the day I last saw my father.   Very recently God began to speak to me on forgiveness.  I had this small wall up in my heart where his Spirit wouldn’t go in  uninvited. The Lord gently reminded me that I needed to forgive my father. He has showed me the root rot in my heart of the unforgiveness and feelings of rejection I thought I  had let go years ago.  I could not move forward in my true identity as a freed, forgiven woman of God without releasing those feelings. So one day I humbly got before the Lord and let them go… every one of the lies and the anger, frustration, feelings of abandonment and rejection. I handed them over in prayer to Christ. Like a master gardener he got right to work. He started at the roots of my heart pulling  out the weeds of the lies that where choking the truth of who I was. Slowly the truth began to grow internally, and like a nurtured  plant, my frame became stronger and the colors bloomed in me again.   He revealed himself in a special way, showing me that He indeed is my heavenly Father, and I am his blood bought daughter. I didn’t have to work to be worthy of his love… for he reconciled me to himself the day he went to the cross on my behalf.

Will you let the Lord’s words wash over you today:

My heart has heard you say, ” Come and talk with me”

and my heart responds, ” Lord, I am coming.”

Don’t leave me now, do not abandon me,

O God of my salvation!

Even if my father and mother abandon me,

the LORD will hold me close.

Psalm 27:8,9-10