Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Glutton in the Peach Tree

One day, four years ago, I was sitting in the kitchen on the phone with a friend. I heard a chainsaw outside and looked out the side window. Much to my dismay, Jason was outside 'trimming' our amazing peach tree. The tree the year before had yielded hundreds of peaches, but it was too overgrown and did need pruning. Jason was convinced that a peach tree should grow straight upwards. I thought it was supposed to be a low hanging tree. We had many discussions prior to his chainsaw extravaganza. There were two main branches, shaped much like a 'Y', and they were very large and hanging low. I pleaded with him to let me first research peach tree pruning before he went crazy with the power tools, but, alas, I took too long, and the smaller opposing branch was gone. I was one grumpy girl. He assured me that in pruning the tree it would yield more fruit in the future, and though I know that principle, the tree looked like a toddler with scissors! I remember being angry with Jason throughout most of that day. It wasn't even that peaches were my favorite fruit, either! Cherries, are, and we have two of those trees in the front yard. This was during a time in my life when I was very lonely for friendships and eating for company's sake...

That night I had a dream about the peach tree. It was very vivid...I can still see it clearly as I type tonight. In the dream I looked out the window to look at the peach tree. It was dark outside but a full moon lit the sky. I could see the tree shaking though there was no wind. As I looked more closely, I could see a dark figure in the tree. I took another step forward because I was mad that something was in my peach tree. The branches opened and there sat a dark brown, hairy, ferocious looking creature staring back at me. It was a wolverine. I had only seen wolverines in an animated fashion advertising for the University of Michigan. I had never even seen a picture of a real one, but I knew in my dream that a wolverine was in my peach tree and it was acting extremely territorial.

The next day I was reading the Bible and praying. I wasn't studying anything in particular but the word 'glutton' popped into my head. I was NOT studying about gluttony. It was the last thing I wanted to think about as I finished off the bag of 'Riesens'. Now, I've said before that when a thought pops into your head that is smarter than you, it's usually God so you should stop and listen. I got out my dictionary and looked up the word 'glutton'. (I'd quote the definition here as it reads in my dictionary but much to my dismay, I packed it when we were getting the house ready for showing! Regret!) Anyway, I read through the definition, and near the end where it gave examples of gluttonous things, it said, 'like a wolverine, a ferocious, territorial eater'...WHAM BAM.

This is more or less what followed..."Okay, Lord. I get it. I'm a glutton. You are right. I am sorry for filling my life with food instead of You. I am sorry for being a hypocrite. I repent of feeding my face and starving my soul. Satan, you don't have control over my life...the Lord rebuke you! I repent of sins passed on through my family relating to food obsession and gluttony. Lord, I thank you that Your grace is sufficient and that I am free. Give me strength to make the right choices to steward this temple with which you have entrusted me and thank You for opening my eyes."



That's the spiritual side of my journey with food. I had hungered and thirsted after food, drink, and things. I was not satisfied in any sense of the word, literally, because I was worshipping a false god and those things were incapable of satisfying.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled." Matthew 5:6

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:14

"Give us today our daily bread." Matthew 6:11



Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has place his seal of approval." John 6:26-27

Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." John 6:29

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." John 6:32-33

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe." John 6:35-36

"No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:46-51

Lord, I pray for myself and everyone reading this, that our worth would be found in You alone, that our satisfaction would come from your living water, the Son, the Bread of Life. When we want to fill our faces out of emotional insecurity, let us draw near to you and be filled. Each of us, as humans, have different struggles, Lord, but anything that distracts us from our pursuit of You is a false god that will never suffice. Lead us by Your Holy Spirit. Give us eternal perspective. Stir up the gifts in each of us for Your glory and Your purpose and help us to enjoy food for what it is...

19 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:05 AM

    Thanks for this, Adrienne. I love it when the Lord makes it so abundantly clear that it is HE who is getting out attention on a specific matter! I had it happen the night before last. I'll share it sometime, as I could use your prayers.

    It is so encouraging that you are willing to share with us and 'be real' with others. If only more of us were that way.... I know that many will be encouraged or uplifted or convicted by this post. Thank you for your words! My food issue right now is seeking to fulfill needs with it that have nothing to do with physical hunger or nutrition! :-( So...Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! The verses you have shared are perfect...HE IS THE BREAD OF LIFE!!!!

    Love you,
    Jodie

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  2. Anonymous1:35 AM

    Adrienne,
    I'm sure you're speaking to many, but positive you're speaking to me.
    Weight has not been an issue for me until about 5 years ago...
    however, when I look back, I see compulsive eating & eating out of control was pretty much a part of my life from the get-go.
    I was able to follow a diabetic diet, to the T, for my pregnancies, becuz I knew what was at stake.
    However, for some reason, I can not find the strength to fight my eating urges now. It controls my mind... even just seeing something at the store, at a restaurant, or in my own kitchen... I can not focus on ANYthing else, until I've eaten it... and eaten it all.
    God has been convicting me about this lately. The thought popped in my head a few weeks ago, 'You have to get this under subjection.' It's my responsibility to God & my family to make my body submit.
    So, thanking You for yielding to God again & finding the words to speak about this. I appreciate You for being translucent about this. It's very timely for me...and I hope to hear more.
    Be blessed,
    Amy

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  3. Amen....HE is the ONLY Daily Bread that we need.

    Thanks for sharing. Praise Jesus!!

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  4. We all have our struggles. You know when you mentioned that dream it reminded me about a dream I had that I passed off as a nightmare. When you get time do you think you could help me with that? Now I don't think it was a nightmare after all. www.legacy-continues.blogspot.com

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  5. Anonymous6:42 AM

    Whoa, did this hit home. I have had a food obsession for 10 years. I wake up thinking about how fat I think I am and go to bed thinking the same thing. For some reason, it never dawned on me to fill myself up with the Holy Spirit during those times. Sometimes the most obvious answers elude a person. Thank you so much for sharing your entire journey with us. May God bless you and your family.

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  6. Anonymous9:30 AM

    I wonder why God does things like this for some people but not others. What if you have a sin you know about and have cried out and cried out about time and again, but get no answer?

    I have struggled with this (not food) idolatry in my heart for years and know it is there and desperately want to be free, but He seems to not hear me. Why did Adrienne get her eyes opened? Yesterday I just literally sobbed on my floor for a good 15 minutes, but felt like my prayers were bouncing off the ceiling. I always ask Him to search my heart and show me my sin.
    I love Him with all my heart, but I really don't think I believe He loves me.

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  7. Dear Anyonymous-

    Have you repented of the sin of idolatry? Have you submitted your will to the Lord? Have you released ALL of it to Him? Are you harboring or hiding ANY part from the Lord?

    Over and over in the Old Testament, there are stories of people crying out to God and it appears He does not hear. And then they realize, someone in their camp...or even in their own tent...or even just that person is hiding idols and acting like they are fully devoted to God.

    Only you and the Lord can see everything inside of you. Release ALL of it. Even the parts you are ashamed of. Even the parts you don't want to admit to or look at.

    He DOES love you. More than you love yourself. More than you love anyone around you. And His love does not fail.

    And then talk to someone close in your life who loves you for you. Be honest with them about this idolatry in your life.

    Jesus came so that we can ALL be free.

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  8. Anonymous1:11 PM

    Thank you for these posts. I am grateful for what He is speaking through you.

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  9. AdriENNE!

    That dream is so COOL!

    I love to hear specifics like this. Thanks for taking the energy to post it all!

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  10. Pat Bertsch2:59 PM

    Very interesting. I've been thinking the last couple days of the proverb that says, "A man who has no self-control is as unprotected as a city with its walls broken down." (a paraphrase)You're young right now, but when you get to be my age you find out how lack of self-control in eating jeopardizes your health. Lack of self-control in other areas, like spending, jeopardizes your finances. It goes on and on...
    I have been wondering how we "get" self-control, and I'm thinking that we must seek it, since it is a fruit of the Spirit.

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  11. Adrienne,
    WOW!! You hit the nail on the head for me. After I had my daughter I went right back down to my before preg. weight and was doing great until 2 years ago when she was dx with Vesicortal reflux. Before it was over with she had been hospitalized 4+ times, tons of tests, and surgery at Children's Hospital in Dallas. (which was over a duration of 8 months or so) During that time I found comfort in food and put on 20 pounds. Well, that was 1 1/2 ago and still having food issues. I can say it is a hard thing to break the cycle of. I diffently have been getting more in the word and focusing on Him when I feel the urge to eat. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. I do know I owe it to HIm above all and my family as well. Thanks for your encouraging words and support. Always, looking forward to your next post.
    God bless you,
    Kris

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  12. Anonymous3:54 PM

    Anonymous,

    What Katy said is very true and good. Also, I was thinking of how sometimes we just have to wait on the Lord. He answers us and reveals things to us in His timing, not ours. I would certainly pray about and consider doing what Katy has recommended, and also ask the Lord to help you trust Him to work in His perfect way, in His perfect timing. (I often find myself praying that one..."Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!")

    I very recently had a breakthrough from something much like what you were speaking about. And it was very clear, when it came, that He knew it was just the right time for me. I have been crying out for months, as well, and only two days ago did the Lord tell me what He wanted to say.

    Wait on Him, and as you do, I think I would take Katy's advice, if you can. And she is right - He loves you far more than you can ever even begin to imagine! Whether it "feels" like it or not. My Dad gently reminded me of this recently (and I am 33 years old). Of how fickle our feelings can be, but the Truth of God's Word makes clear that He does love you very, very, very much! Enough to send Jesus to die and rise again for you. When you can't feel some of these things, try to cling to what is true and keep asking the Lord to work in your heart! We can't trust in our own emotions, but we can trust in the Lord and His Word! He is faithful!

    My prayers go out to you.

    In Him,
    Jodie

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  13. Anonymous4:39 PM

    bless you Jodie for that caring, gentle response. it helped me a lot. katy, thank you also, i am going to keep doing just that

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  14. Thank you for such an inspiring post Adrienne. I needed to hear that so bad! I truely believe the Lord is using you and your words to reach out to hundreds of people. You have made an impact on my life and I've never even met you or talked to you. Just wanted you to know I so enjoy your blog and I praise God for your posts (that sounds kinda silly but it's true). Gods Blessings, Christy

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  15. Hi. I came across your blog from a link in Randi's.
    I watched Noah's movie and cried and cried. It was so beautiful.
    Thankyou Jesus that Noah is safe with you.

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  16. After reading everyone's comments, I almost decided not to bother because everyone said everything I wanted to say, but I think I need to say it too. Thank you for being so real and sharing this. It is so timely and helpful. God is using you in big ways! Bless you! :)

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  17. Thank you for this. I was really intrigued while I was reading but when I got to the line, "anything that distracts us from our pursuit of You is a false god that will never suffice." I knew this was for me too. I don't struggle with weight or food. I do however have things that distract me from my pursuit of Him. I believe He used your words to clearly show me this one more time. You are my wolverine - in a very good way. Thank you.

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  18. Adrienne, just write a book already. Jeepers. You got it in the bag. :)

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  19. Thank you for sharing this intimate and personal journey- it has been a good word for me to read...

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