Chapter 11 Reflection Questions
Recall a recent stressful experience that tempted you to overeat or make poor food choices. What specific feelings did the experience elicit (for example: anger, embarrassment, tension, sadness, anxiety, grief)? Whether you resisted or gave into temptation, how were your emotions impacted as a result?
I think long-distance driving has the biggest impact on my stress-eating now. It is not as bad here at home any more. I drive three hours north to see my family quite frequently, and this last time forgot to bring water with me. I downed coffee like crazy, and ended up at a gas station with Diet Coke and Diet Dr. Pepper in my hands. And then in my car. Yeah, at least there are no calories, but the nutrasweet just messes up my system. And I truly was dehydrated. Water would have been a much better choice. I think the impact was a mix between sadness and justification that I needed caffeine to stay awake and alert, as I had left to head south to our home at 6:30 in the morning. Yeah, that’s what I told myself.
I am recovering from this. My water intake has increased again the last couple of days. Now, to decrease the coffee intake too!
When you experience problems or difficult seasons in life, are you more likely to put on a mask and pretend everything is okay or to take off your mask and ask for help? How has this tendency impacted your ability to resist food temptations at such times?
Oh, I am a mask person for sure! At least, at first. I am learning to recognize when the mask is too heavy; then I take it off and ask for help. Now, if only I can recognize when it goes on so I can stop the process altogether…
Discovering how to pray without words helped Lysa to feel like she was connecting with God, something she hadn’t felt in a long time (page 113). Have you ever prayed this way, simply spending time with God in silence and allowing the Holy Spirit to intercede on your behalf (Romans 8:26)? Does this idea intrigue you or scare you?
I have done this before. I will do this while I drive, when I am home alone, or with a small group of fellow believers. Just peace and quiet…last time I did this at church with some friends, I fell asleep though! I recommend being well-rested before doing this.
I want to do things like this more often. Just soak in His Word, have quiet communion in His presence.
This song definitely reminds me of His presence. Music is another avenue through which God speaks to me greatly. I’ve had to pull over at times when I am driving because of the truth God speaks to me through the lyrics of a song!
Lysa demonstrates how she replaces old lies about food with new truths about God’s love (page 114). In the course of a regular day, what old lies about food make it difficult for you to resist temptation? Do hard times make these lies harder to resist? Drawing on what the Bible teaches about God’s love in Ephesians 3:17-19, 1 John 3:1, and Psalm 103:17, what new truths might you use to replace your old lies?
These are the hardest: “Oh, I’ll just take more insulin.” Or “I can work out later (or I worked out today) so I have calories to spare.” Or “I feel like crap today so I am going to stuff my face with toast and butter, cookies, and brownies” forgetting that all that stuff makes me feel even more like crap!
The Truth: In Christ alone am I ever filled. Abide in Him, and I can escape the temptation much more easily. When I am grounded in the Word, in His presence, He gives me the strength to lift up my shield of faith to extinguish the flaming darts of the enemy. When I am outside His presence, my strength fails me. I am weak, and weaker still when facing temptations without reaching for the hand of my Heavenly Father. His love is never out of reach; I simply need to remember to reach for Him. And that is truth.
“See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut” (Revelation 3:8). If God were to speak these words directly to you about your struggles with food, what do you hope you would see and experience on the other side of the door?
Freedom! That the strings tethering me to unhealthy foods would be broken, and I would not feel like I am “missing out” on anything! I want to savor a juicy orange and not feel like I am missing out on the piece of cake with buttercream frosting I left behind on the other side of the door! I want to enjoy a nice hearty salad with chicken and raspberry vinaigrette dressing on top and not think about the bucket of fried chicken or the large pizza I walked away from when I passed through the door. I pray that the memories of the tempting foods, the diet sodas, the sugary tempters would be severed. Yeah. I think that is what I want to experience: life absent from the knowledge of the foods that are bad for our health, and that I will know complete satisfaction in the presence of my Savior and my God. Food does not satisfy. Food provides energy and vitamins so that I can function and continue to serve God. God alone satisfies the thirsty soul, the empty, starving heart.
In John 4, a Samaritan woman encounters Jesus: A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”
May I be as the Samaritan woman and desire this Water of Life through Jesus alone!