We hear about comfort food all the time. It’s an accepted part of our society. However, I am aware now that “comfort food” is one of the many lies that I’ve bought into from childhood. This one is the one that is the current issue in my walk with God.
I have recently made changes in my life that I realize may affect others. I do not want anyone to feel any guilt or condemnation because of my decisions. I am not pointing fingers at anyone but myself. This issue is between the Lord & I…the only reason anyone else knows about it is because I wanted to explain my “strange” behavior to those who would notice. : )
In my life—it was food that took a position that only God has earned. I looked to food for comfort on far too many occasions. My poor choices set into place a lifelong addiction to sugar. No matter how hard I tried, I could not break free. It’s not the food, in particular, that’s at issue here…it’s how I used it. I don’t believe it’s a sin to eat sweets. The sin was seeking the sugary items to heal my pain. Only God can heal hurts completely. I knew my choices were wreaking havoc on my health…but this was an area I just could not yield to God. If I am to be completely honest, it was something I didn’t want to give up.
Gently, persistently, He kept asking me to lay it down, to come to Him for the comfort I seek. I resisted. I heard Him…and I knew I would eventually obey but I just wasn’t ready. Recently, a combination of words from trusted friends, Bible study lessons, and music lyrics worked together to open my eyes to the reality of my situation. My heart was broken to bits when I finally saw that I had allowed the “junk sugars” to become more important to me than my God, My Savior! I grieved, “Oh Father! I am so sorry! I do not want You to feel like sugar is more important to me! Please help me! Help me remember You when I need comfort. Help me to be obedient to You. Free me from this chain that keeps my feet from moving forward.”
Only God has the power to heal my brokenness. Only He can restore my heart. The only thing I have gained by turning to food for comfort is weight!
Because I love Him—I want to honor Him in all that I do. Will I never be allowed another piece of candy? I don’t really know. I doubt this is a forever thing...but even if it is, it no longer matters to me. I want what He has for me! I want the freedom that comes from Truth. The “ban” on sweets is not all-encompassing. I know I have the freedom to consume a little when in social situations. However, so far, I have not had the need nor the desire to do so. This restriction may only need to be in place until I am strong enough to keep “comfort foods” in their proper place—as sustenance or a rare treat—rather than sought out for healing.
Do comfort foods soothe? Sure…but the relief we feel is only temporary...we will always need more comfort. Life is not easy….there are seasons of pain we will inevitably endure. However, if we consistently turn to anything else but God for the soothing we need, we will experience troubling and, often negative, side effects. Alcohol, food, drugs, overworking, striving for perfection…the list of things we use to comfort or distract us from the pain is endless. The side effects may be different but they all have something in common….none brings lasting comfort. None of it! Only God has the power to make us complete & whole again after we have been broken.
Is my healing complete? Probably not…at least not all of it, not yet. But gradually God has been repairing all the broken parts of me (even some that I was unaware of their existence). This is just one more step in the process. I don’t know what comes next—I don’t even know how much work is yet to be done—but He does. I look back and can see how far He has brought me. I trust Him to complete the work He began in my life. Scriptures speak of us being able to place our confidence in the fact that “…he who began a good work in you will be faithful to carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) Not one of us have reached perfection. We are works in progress. The speed of such progress, I am discovering (okay, so I am a little slow at this), is dependent upon how willing we are to yield to the One who is doing the work.
God has been actively breaking the many chains that have bound me. This one—using sugars for comfort—has been broken. When did that happen? It seems that this amazing event happened when I recognized the lie for what it was…when my heart was broken and grieved over my sin. I didn’t want that sin in my life anymore…I was ready to give it to Him without reservation. I asked Him to help me. He has. He definitely has! And He continues to be my ever-present Help. I am in awe and am so, so very thankful!