I came across the following (originally posted in February of 2010) while reviewing some of my past blogs. Reading it I realized that after two years, I am still struggling with the same patterns. The words below helped remind me of just what I need to keep my spiritual tank from running dry….
I have type 2 diabetes and since I was diagnosed 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 my target 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 people, and believe, that my diabetes was an answer to prayer. I am fortunate, too, in being able to get out for walks almost every day.
Lately, though, I’ve been having a real struggle not giving in to urges to eat too much, especially in the evenings after work. I just haven’t been feeling satisfied, and 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 springtime sun was shining one weekend as I set out for my morning walk.
I strode off at a brisk clip, as is my habit, covering the miles 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 narcissus 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 my voracious hunger and dissatisfaction: I had let myself run dry. I was empty. Spiritually empty.
My job had become more demanding than usual lately, capping off twelve pretty pressure-filled months in various areas of my life. When I began to think about it I saw that the list of challenges was 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.