Sunday, August 7, 2011

What God's voice sounds like (experience #5)

Roughly eight years ago I was really into ice cream.  I must have eaten the equivalent of a half gallon every week.  Then I'd try to kick the over-doing of sugar and was able to stick with it for a few months, and then got back into the ice cream.  I was concerned about my sugar consumption because my brother Jim and my uncle Henry are both diabetic.  So I was at higher risk.

At one point I prayed to Jesus for will power, and nothing changed for several weeks.  But after staying with the prayer, I eventually "heard" this answer in silent prayer:  "I will be your sweetness".  

Quite enigmatic, eh?  Poetic too. Trust me, that's not a phrase I would have thought of on my own.

What it meant to me was that if I spent more time in prayer about this with Jesus, that he would replace my desires for sugar with a desire for more sweet time with Him, and that I would find that tradeoff to be more than satisfactory compensation.

I'd like to say that I reacted exactly as he had offered, but I must admit that I was only able to give up ice cream for about another month.  Then I got back into it.  Over several see-saws like this I heard His phrase "I will be your sweetness" over and over.  But when I was not responding adequately, the phrase stopped, and I continued to struggle with over-doing the ice cream.

Just three years ago my doctor did a blood sugar test and said that my blood sugar was getting too high.  I slacked off the sugar a little bit, but not well enough.  At the next annual physical exam, my doctor reported that I was on the verge of being diabetic, according to my blood sugar reading.  It scared the crap out of me, and I cut out sugar out of fear.

I'm embarrassed to say that I paid more attention to fear more than love.

I also noticed that had I taken Jesus' advice years ago, I would probably have never reached the point of being tested as pre-diabetic. Even though He must have known that I would respond to fear, He did not use fear in his message.  There was no "or else" communicated.  Only God would be that patient.  I'm learning that God is not a demanding boss.  He offers with love, and hopes that we trust Him enough to respond to what He knows is the best overall big-picture option for us.

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