28 Feb Right Now God
I hit the jackpot with a women’s small group last winter. What started out being a one book study on Biblical Femininity rolled into studying three additional books from winter to spring to summer with many of the same women. My favorite study by far was the one about our bodies, Body Matters. It convicted me and uncovered a lifetime of problems with food and my body image.
Just last Sunday, my small group leader asked me to share my story of “life change.” I couldn’t believe the Lord was asking me to basically tell the entire congregation that I drive down the road cramming Reese’s into my mouth as I go about my day. I know He is working on my pride, but really? I looked at my friend in disbelief and told her my life hadn’t changed. The only change was that I had recently put on about 10 pounds for various stupid reasons. Did that count?
I’ve misplaced my Body Matters book and cringe to think someone else might actually have it along with my notes written in the margin. What did I learn, what did I write down? What did I highlight? As I have searched my home for the book, I’ve been thinking. Why hasn’t my life changed?
This week, I’ve tried to think of why I want to eat. I want to eat for the most ridiculous reasons, and it is rarely hunger. I want to eat because my kids are literally driving me crazy. I have one kid that will only wear one pair of pants, and this morning we couldn’t find that pair. I have another kid who crunches ice in my ear every chance he gets. And I am trying to homeschool our middle child who has several behavior disorders. I’m rapidly getting wrinkles and my kids are pointing them out. I’m driving a dirty beat up minivan in a carline full of nice cars. I’ve hit the neighbor’s mailbox twice and closed the garage door on the van more times than we can count. I want to eat because I don’t want to fold more laundry or do the dishes. I want to eat because I’m tired, I’m frustrated, I’m lonely, I’m disappointed. I want to eat because I’ve gained weight and am embarrassed and have no clothes I want to wear or feel good in. Actually, typing these problems makes me wonder what is in the pantry that will make me happy for a moment. And while I do believe in God and all of His fullness to satisfy all of my needs, I’m planning on trusting Him tomorrow. In a culture where everything needs to happen immediately, it is interesting that I have no problem putting off trusting the Lord to be who He has always promised to be.
January 1 was going to be a big day. No more unhealthy eating. No more Cokes. No more losing my temper. I re-joined the gym and planned on getting up at 5:00am every morning. I basically planned on magically turning into a different person overnight. However, the only thing I’ve changed is that now I’m in the hole from my gym membership. I’m still just as heavy and irritated as I was on December 31.
“In a culture where everything needs to happen immediately, it is interesting that I have no problem putting off trusting the Lord to be who He has always promised to be.”
I manage each day by getting quick fixes. All day long I can sip, or munch, or cram, and for that moment, forget the things I don’t like about my boundary lines. It is a quiet, socially acceptable temper tantrum. For the moment when I am eating that cookie, or Reese’s, or sipping that Coke, I can forget the crummy morning I had. I feel like my crummy morning actually means that I at least earned a 79 cent drink from QT. That helps me not lose my temper until the next disappointing thing happens. Then I’m mad or upset that I’ve blown it again. Every day, I blow it. It’s not always sugar. Often, it is Facebook, email, texting, or an occasional Netflix binge, although that is tough to pull off while homeschooling.
What I’ve realized this week while thinking through all of this is that my whole life I’ve been believing in a tomorrow God, and I’ve missed out on the right now God. God is with me right now. He can help me right now. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened” (Matthew 11:28a, NIV)—come, now. He knows how I feel right now. He can give me wisdom and patience right now. I can delight in Him right now.
“What I’ve realized this week while thinking through all of this is that my whole life I’ve been believing in a tomorrow God, and I’ve missed out on the right now God.”
“The Lord is my Shepherd [right now], I shall not want [right now]. He makes me lie down in green pastures [right now], He leads me beside quiet waters [right now]. He restores my soul [right now].” —Psalm 23:1-3 (ESV, emphasis mine)
He is doing these things right now. I have full access right now. I don’t need to wait until another Monday to start making better choices. I don’t need to wait until the next month. Why would I wait any longer when I can come now? Whatever I am running to, trying to minimize the discomfort of my day, I can get to the Lord faster and be truly satisfied. I will need to come often, but I don’t think He minds.
Laurie is a wife and mother to three children. She is often straightening up her house and looking for lost library books. She doesn’t feel like a writer but has a lot of stories. She attends our Pelham campus.