This past Easter during Lent (the six week period leading up to Easter) I felt God was leading me to give something up that I couldn’t seem to live without: sugar – in all its many forms. I’ve wrestled with weight issues and an eating disorder for most of my life and have had a particularly nasty addiction to sugar since childhood.
When I felt that holy nudge to lay down this addiction for six weeks I did so expecting to completely fail. After all – what would a life devoid of sugar actually look like? Sugar has been my “go to” drug of choice for as far back as I can remember. Whenever anything was eating me – I ate back with sugar.
As a stress eater, the idea of not eating my way through a crisis seemed highly unlikely, but I quit sugar cold-turkey, nonetheless. My body (and my brain) reacted to some uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that were very painful – both physiologically as well as emotional. I suffered from headaches, body aches, anxiety and off the chart cravings that drove me to the brink of craziness.
It was right smack in the middle of all of this “suffering” that I truly came to understand what Christ must have endured during his 40 day fast in the wilderness and of course, his painful suffering on Calvary. Putting my “suffering” in the same category as Jesus’s suffering shamed me. Saying “no” to after dinner ice cream was nothing compared to Jesus’s anguish.
The greatest gift that God gave me during my Lent sacrifice was to open my eyes to the level of importance I had placed on my love of sugar. First John 5:21 shone a spotlight on the root of my core problem: Dear children, keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your hearts.
My problem wasn’t just a little sugar addiction. My real problem, my sin, was that I’d suffered my whole life from a heart condition. I put the need to “go to” sugar during an emotional crisis above my need for Jesus.
I can’t say that sacrificing sugar for six weeks magically healed me, but it did help me to see through eyes that weren’t always glazed over from eating icing or sprinkles. I’m not fixed yet, but I am making an effort to make Jesus my “go to” solution rather emotional eating whenever something is eating me.
How about you? What’s eating you? Is there anything taking God’s place in your heart? Why not let Jesus be your new “go to” solution.
Blessings in Christ,