I have type 2 diabetes and since I was diagnosed six years ago I have controlled it through diet and exercise alone. In order to avoid the need to take medication I must balance each carb with an appropriate amount of exercise in order to keep my glucose readings in the “normal” range. For the most part, it hasn’t been too much of a struggle. In fact, I’m in much better health than I was twenty years ago. I tell everyone that my diabetes was an answer to prayer. I am fortunate, too, in being able to get out of the office for a one mile walk on each of my morning and afternoon 15 minute breaks.
Lately, though, I’ve been having a real struggle not giving in to urges to eat too much, especially in the evenings after work. We’ve been having a rainy spell (badly needed in northern California) that has kept me indoors a few days a week, too. I just haven’t been feeling good, but I’ve been experiencing all sorts of cravings and urges to eat.
At about the same time I’ve begun to hit a dry patch in my writing. Where once I saw inspiration in almost everything, suddenly I didn’t seem to have anything to say.
The sun was shining for my President’s Day holiday from work, so this morning after seeing that my mother had her breakfast I decided to take a nice long walk.
I strode off at a brisk clip, as is my habit, covering as much ground as quickly as possible, when my shins began to ache and I was forced to slow down a bit. Walking more slowly I didn’t have to concentrate on my feet and began to look around me.
To the east, I could see Mt. Lassen’s snowy peak gleaming whitely against the fresh-scrubbed blue sky. Closer at hand there were narcissi in gardens and lovely new green shoots of grasses along the roadside, even a few tentative wild flowers here and there. I took a deep breath and asked God to fill me with his newness and beauty.
As I breathed the prayer, I realized that I knew what was behind by voracious ravenous-itis: I had let myself run dry. I was empty.
My job has become more demanding than usual lately, capping off twelve pretty pressure-filled months in various areas of my life. When I begin to think about it, the list of stressors is long and daunting. And I had been trying to handle everything on my own.
Even while reading my Bible or devotional books I wasn’t letting the words speak to me. Instead I was thinking about how I could share the message with others.
When I first became a pastor’s wife I used to wake in the night to jot down sermon illustrations for my husband to use. It was quite awhile before it dawned upon me that if God had a message for my husband, he was perfectly capable of communicating with him directly…he really didn’t have to go through me. With that revelation it became clear that those “sermon illustrations”, if they came from God, were meant for me.
So you see, this is not a new weakness. Just an old one I am still trying to overcome.
I thank God that he let the sun shine today and that he made my shins hurt so that I would slow down and notice all the glory of his creation.
When I look at all the beauty in this world it makes me wonder how exquisitely beautiful our God must be in order to create such a world for us.
I look … and I wonder … and I am filled.