Hi Friends! It’s Ashleigh again.
We’re in the final weeks of our Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness book club selection. As I mentioned before, if you’ve fallen behind, we’re also still talking about the previous chapters here — so keep those comments coming. I’ve missed hearing from many of you and would love to have you jump back in.
Today we look at chapter 16, “It Is Well with My Soul.”
I loved Candace’s examination of the Old Testament account of the Israelites following their exile from Egypt. It fits nicely into what I’ve been learning with my kids lately. For the last four months, my first grader has studied the ancient history of the Egyptians, the Israelites, and the surrounding nations.
As part of her curriculum, we’ve read Tirzah — a fictional retelling of the Israelite’s exodus from Egypt. Author Lucille Travis’ story of twelve-year-old Tirzah and her family as they escape Egypt, wander the desert, and face temptation is gripping. I immediately thought of it when I read Candace’s words:
When you are standing in the desert of testing with your back to the sea and all you can see in front of you is the enemy closing in, be still. Stand firm, and you will find deliverance. Have you ever stood still long enough to witness God do His work? Have you ever stood still in His presence and let Him fight your enemy? Be still. Because when you do, God will truimph over your enemy, release you from your stronghold, and you will know that He is God.”
In Tirzah, my daughters and I “saw” this played out. We read as Tirzah and her family and her friends questioned why God put them between “a rock and a hard place,” so to speak. The Red Sea on one side; an angry Pharaoh and his armies on the other. They literally had no choice but to stand still. And, as they did, God rescued them from their enemy.
And He can rescue us from ours — even if our enemy is the refrigerator and not an entourage of angry Egyptians.
Let’s hear Darlene’s thoughts on this chapter.
Twenty five years ago, had anyone told me that my weight would be a difficult thing to keep off I might have shot them the stink eye. Actually a few people did tell me, but I didn’t believe a single word of it.
With age comes wisdom — and reality. But what I really like most about age is maturity. I tried to take weight off in my late twenties through to my mid-thirties, but I didn’t know then what I know now, and even if I had known how to keep off the weight, I didn’t have the “stick-to-it” attitude that I have now.
I’m not that keen about jumping out of an airplane, or hanging from a bungie cord like I once was. I realize now that life is fragile, it’s moving by quickly, and I want to embrace every moment I have. Praise God that He offers us the power to change, and that I’ve stepped out to embrace it.
Both my husband and my Lord love me as much today, as they did 23 years ago, and have loved me through every year and size in between — that I know. But what I also know is that I feel good, and enjoy life a little more when I’m at a comfortable, average-sized weight.
If diets, or should I say, “lifestyle changes,” always failed me, no matter which ones I tried, why would I start yet again?
It took me over a decade to realize that they didn’t fail me at all; the truth is that I had failed them.
I also failed high school English, but that didn’t mean that I’d never write a book, own a self-publishing company, or be a New York Times Best-Selling (co)author, failing merely meant that it wasn’t time to give up.
Rather than letting our past failures set the stage for our future, they should be the very thing that tells us we need to press on!
I have created you and cared for you since you were born. I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you.” (Isaiah 46:3b-4a, LB)
Enjoy the journey, and until next time, live well!!
What about you?
- Has God used difficult situations in your life to build character? If so, how? Can you apply what you learned to your relationship with food and exercise?
- How do stories like Candace’s and biblical accounts like that of the Israelites give you hope?
- What stood out most to you in this chapter?