Not By Bread Alone

Based on my looks…you can tell I’ve got some Irish going on.  Red hair…freckles…fair skin…and we won’t get into the stubborn, strong-willed personality.  Based on my diet…you’d think I’m Italian.  Bread…pasta…a little bit of wine here and there…that’s all I need to be satisfied!  Unfortunately I have been having some very serious abdominal issues…much like I did last fall…except this time the only relief seems to come when eliminating gluten…as in bread and pasta!  And this had to come after giving up caffeine and artificial sweeteners of course!  What’s next-?

I haven’t been diagnosed with Celiac disease or anything (yet) but I’ve been doing a lot of research and it is linked to Fibromyalsia as well as IBS…2 things which I have been diagnosed with.  I have many of the symptoms but I’ve been thinking…do I really want to add one more thing to the laundry list of ailments?  A lot of really strange things have been happening…uncontrollable shaking…much more numbness and painful tingling…terrible abdominal pain.  Can’t there just be something…one thing that’s wrong?  Why can’t we just figure it out?  Give it (all) a name?  Why is this suffering layered…piled on…year after year after year?  Why is it getting worse?  All of these questions just roll around in my mind as I’m trying to just do my best to get through each day knowing….I simply need to Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

It seems like every time I get back to where I want to be spiritually…I fall apart physically.  And when I feel better physically my emotional or spiritual life is out of alignment somehow.  Is there such a thing as balance?  And once I finally get it…it slips away after just a seeming second of peace.  I was in the car yesterday and I heard the song Blessings.  I can never get through it without crying.  It’s the theme song for my life.  Every time I’m ready to just give up God sends it my way to remind me…this isn’t my home.  I’m just passing through.  This life is so hard…but God is so good.   I have to cling to God’s promises…His written Word.  I wait to hear His voice of reassurance.   I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

I’m not one who really likes to speak of the enemy.  I don’t want to give him any credit.  I don’t want to even acknowledge him.  But…he’s real and he’s evil and God tells us he’s prowling like a lion ready to devour.  I have to wonder with all that I’ve committed to this year…leadership in bible study, the worship team, our Wednesday night kids program and our small group…that all begins this week along with school and soccer and cheer…could some of this…my questions…my frustrations…my doubt…be the enemy?    The Lord brought me today to when He was tempted by Satan in Matthew 4:1-11.  Every single time He was tempted He used scripture to retaliate.  I NEED His Word to survive!  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.   James 4:7

Someone claimed recently that my faith is blind.  That all faith is blind.  I beg to differ.  We have more senses than just sight…4 to be exact.  We all believe in the wind which we cannot see.  We can see the effects of the wind but we can’t see the wind.  We can feel the wind…but we cannot see it.  It is very much the same with Jesus.  I can feel Him.  I can hear Him.  I can see what He does.  Even in my recently restricted diet I can even literally taste and see that the Lord is good (even without gluten)!  So why don’t we all believe?  Or do we not all choose to see with more than just our eyes?  Why doesn’t everyone see beyond just the physical and emotional?  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”  John 20:29

There is so much more to life than what we consume, or collect, or struggle with….or see with our eyes.  I was created a fair-skinned, redhead with freckles who happens to love bread and have a lot of pain.  And while I will certainly at times miss bread and pasta…it’s really not that big of a deal.  I know there is a reason for all of this.  The trials we and others see as curses are…at least in my experience…blessings in disguise.  We just cannot see the whole picture…only tiny glimpses.  That is why in the thick of the pain…the sleepless nights…the betrayls…and the temptations of this life we cannot forget that of all the sustenance, supplements, remedies and medications we can partake of…our souls need just as much attention, nourishment and protection as our bodies.  No matter what we give up or cut out to make ourselves feel better…God’s Word should never be one of them.  Of all the things we feed our souls…that’s the only one that matters.

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’  Matthew 4:4

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