Stress. Internal or external demands that exceed our ability to manage without resorting to dysfunctional behaviors. Like gaining five pounds in the last few months while my husband and I have been walking through prostate cancer. We all have our favorite ways to comfort ourselves or get through the day when the days are intense.
I have lots of company. Millions of Americans are overweight or obese. I used to be one of them. Maybe you’re struggling, too, especially during this season of temptation in America.
If not food, are you using alcohol or relationships or cigarettes when life gets overwhelming? Do you realize it’s a way to cope with emotional pain?
If it is food, it’s not just “I love food,” as I’ve heard some overweight people say. It’s deeper than that. Almost everyone loves food. How do we use food? What’s the fear, sadness, abandonment that feeds the “hunger” for food. What is that deeper hunger? Do we know? Are we willing to know?
Did our father leave when we were seven? Did our mother ridicule us in junior high? Did the other children reject us because our clothing wasn’t stylish? Such pain these rejections cause. If you resonate, I know you’re in a lot of pain.
Those events may live in the past but that pain still lives in our hearts. We can invite Jesus in to bring his truth, light, and healing. We can hear him speak his specific truth that counters the “truth” we learned at the hands of those who hurt us.
Our ability to manage stress is directly proportional to our heart grasp of Jesus’ truth.
Jesus, please give us power to face our deep pain, with you. Show us our next step. Thank you for all you’ve done already and for all you are doing and all you will do.