September 28, 2018
"Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.'" Genesis 1:29 (NIV)
I am in my 40s, but today I look more like a teenage girl. Not because I'm wearing the latest fashion or having a wild hair day. It's because I have a pimple that looks like a volcano getting ready to erupt on my chin.
"Mom, what is that?" my 8-year-old daughter Lucy exclaimed, pointing at the ugly bump on my face.
My in-laws were visiting and brought me a box of chocolates - one of my favorite foods. Eating with moderation seemed like a good idea until I was alone with that box of chocolates! I enjoyed them immensely, and my pimple was proof-positive of my zeal.
Food can be a stumbling block for me. Broccoli seldom tempts me, but sugar-laden baked goods or crunchy chips certainly do. I have no problem dipping a large spoon into a jar of peanut butter or frosting to satisfy my cravings. But you won't catch me sneaking a spoonful of cottage cheese for a late-night snack.
Please don't misunderstand me. There is certainly a place for celebration foods such as cake and ice cream. But a regular serving of daily junk food robs us of the nutrition God offers in the foods He has created.
In the creation account in Genesis, we read that God created man and woman. He blessed them and told them to "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground" (Genesis 1:28b, NIV). Following that impressive job description, we find our key verse: "Then God said, ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.'"
God provided the physical energy Adam and Eve needed to have children and subdue the earth through the gift of food. Let that sink in a little bit. Does your temper flare easily with your family members? Do you need more energy to get through the workday? Maybe what you eat is impacting your effectiveness more than you realize.
I know I feel better after eating an apple than I do after eating a candy bar. It's so easy in our society to eat processed food out of boxes, bags, and at the drive-thru. But that convenience comes at a cost: We suffer physically. Our taste buds may be very satisfied, but our bodies lack nutrition, which opens the door to diseases. I'm trying to ask myself a few questions before reaching for a snack or making a meal:
Is this really food?
Is there something God made in it?
Am I really hungry?
Will I feel better after eating this?
I remember a funny food moment when my daughter Lucy was 2. She walked slowly toward me, shoulders slumped, and muttered, "Are we going to have lunch soon? I need more power." Actually, she said it more like "pow-ah!" No matter what our age, we all need more "pow-ah," and that's why we refuel with food throughout the day.
We are the daughters of Eve. We have purpose and important work to do. God provided Eve nutritious foods to strengthen her physical body and enable her to complete her tasks. Those God-given foods are still available to nourish us today in our God-given missions.
We can think of our physical lives as separate from our spiritual lives. Prayer is in one category. What I eat for dinner is in a totally different category. But being a steward of our physical bodies is a spiritual activity. We develop self-control through wise eating habits and lessen the mood swings that often follow sugar highs.
I need constant reminders to choose healthier options in the market and at restaurants. In a few days, my pimple will disappear (hopefully). For now, it serves as a reminder that I need to better manage my splurges in order to crave something better: food that truly refreshes and replenishes.
Lord Jesus, thank You for providing every single thing I need. Help me take care of the body You've given me. I will decide today to eat food that nourishes my body. I want to make wise, healthy choices. Holy Spirit, be my comfort so I don't have to go to food to relieve my stress. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
3 John 2, "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well." (NIV)
Proverbs 4:23, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." (NIV)
Have you checked out The Proverbs 31 Ministries Podcast yet? Every episode features a biblically-based message from one of our staff members or friends of the ministry and how to apply that wisdom to different seasons of life! Click here to listen to the most recent teaching, and subscribe so you never miss an episode!
For spiritual motivation on your healthy-eating journey, check out Lysa TerKeurst's Made to Crave Devotional.
Could you use some encouragement to eat more food made by God? Visit Arlene Pellicane's website, where you'll find 7 foods you can eat today to boost your mood.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Take a moment to reflect on your eating habits. How many times do you eat out per week? What do you eat in an average meal? What is your most common snack?
What's one healthy nutritional change you can make this week to give yourself more energy for your God-given tasks? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
© 2018 by Arlene Pellicane. All rights reserved.