I was excited. There, in the back of my freezer was an apple pie I had forgotten all about. The perfect complement to the chicken and dumplings, and fruit salad I had prepared for dinner. The pie would be even better with a scoop of ice cream, I reasoned. I pulled on my coat and dashed to the car in the pouring rain. I left the store with not one, but two containers of ice cream. A logical decision since there was a special - two for five dollars. Good deal, right?
After dinner, I thought about my day. Not as productive as I would have liked it to be. I was stressed knowing I'd added more work to the remainder of the week. Frustration set in about mid-afternoon, and I recognized a familiar pattern. I began grazing - you know, a few chips here, a handful of trail mix there, and the piece de resistance, a peanut butter snack bar. All to be followed by dinner and apple pie al a mode - with two flavors of ice cream. I was more than full, and still just as stressed.
Funny to think that Satan tempted Eve with food. What a clever trick used by the enemy. Distracting Eve, so she would not focus on the truth. Look at the serpent's deceptive scheme, "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1; KJV). Casting doubt, was followed by a lie, "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil," (Genesis 3:5).
A familiar story. Eve thought about what the serpent said. It sounded like the truth - God probably WAS trying to prevent them from enjoying this fruit. It sure looked good! What would be the harm of just taking a bite? Eve made her choice. And Adam followed close behind.
The enemy has tripped me up using this same pattern. The reality of the other day serves as a good reminder. Because I had scheduled my day loosely, I got distracted by news and websites that became counterproductive. I lost track of time and realized there was no way I could catch up without taking away from family time. I could feel the tension mounting as I looked at the rest of the week, realizing I'd most likely have to table some things till the next week. Stress kicked the door open a crack. The enemy saw his opportunity, and made his move.
Feeling disappointed and frustrated, I reached for what I thought would make me feel better - food. Unfortunately, after grazing and then eating dinner, the truth was that I felt worse. I still had all the same things to accomplish, and now I had to work out harder because of my poor choices. I had never thought of myself as an emotional eater. The truth stung.
Refreshing myself with the truth goes a long way toward keeping me on track. The Apostle Paul shares wise counsel, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God," (Romans 12:2).
Can you imagine Jesus being tempted with food? Remember when He was in the wilderness and the devil tempted Him there? Jesus had just come off a forty day fast and was hungry. The enemy was there to greet Him. "And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread," (Matthew 4:3). Jesus shares a wonderful truth, "But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, " (Matthew 4:4).
A revolutionary truth to set me free from emotional eating! Identify why I feel compelled to eat, and take that emotion to the Lord. Realize food only offers a distraction and doesn't solve the problem. Discover what His Word has to say about it and begin living victoriously.
Are you an emotional eater? Can you identify the emotion that turns you to food most often (anger, stress, boredom, guilt, etc.)? Will you allow God and His Word to minister true healing to you today?
Prayer - Heavenly Father, Thank You for the truth of Your Word. It's quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. When emotions get the better of me, help me to be quick to turn to You and Your Word for lasting answers - rather than turning to food. Thank You for Your victorious example. In Jesus' name, Amen.
*A re-post from 2/3/2011