Just when I thought I couldn’t learn any more about love, lessons seem to come pouring down around me. And I am overwhelmed by my ability to love and receive love.
It is like I have dropped my bucket into a deep well and come up with an overflowing ocean of love.
It is amazing really. It is a mystery until I evaluate what has happened in the last four years. Although I’ve been on this weight loss journey for at least 10 years, it’s just been in the last four years that I have become obedient to the thing God has been telling me to do for over 30 years.
I finally said, “OK, God let’s do this your way,” it is like I suddenly have access to all of heaven and it’s resources.
Have other Christians been living this way and not telling me about it? I’m amazed at the outpouring of love I feel from above and all around me as I have finally open to receive love.
Not only that, but I am firmly connected to God and all His aspects. I understand when He’s speaking to me or showing me insights and direction. I’m willing to go there because I trust His love now.
Why didn’t I before? What happened to change it?
First of all, I began taking care of my whole being—body, soul and spirit. I now see this as one of my main responsibilities while here on this earth. I am a steward of this container and all that is inside it. No one else will do it for me. I must.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Mark 12:30-31 says.
Right there in black and white it tells me I must love myself in order to love God and others. If not, I am floating around this world without an anchor.
If I am not obedient, I am not loving God. “And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.”1 All through the books of 1 and 2 John, the writer tells us this same thing. If God tells you to do something and you don’t do it, you don’t love Him. If you do it, you love Him.
It’s very simple and yet for years God told me to stop eating processed sugar and I ignored Him. I wondered why I didn’t feel His love or a firm connection to Him. I wondered why I didn’t feel the deep kind of love for people that the Bible spoke of.
It was as if my feeler was turned off.
I remember a time my mother had surgery to remove cancer. My brother, sister, father and I listened as the surgeon came in and told us he didn’t get all the cancer and there was nothing else he could do. He had abided my by mother’s request regarding how much of her body she wanted him to remove. Because of that, he could not remove it all.
Everyone else was crying. Dry-eyed, I asked questions and took notes. My feeler was broken.
Even in my connection with those I loved the most, my husband, son and daughter I sometimes felt disconnected. Yet I loved them as much as I could.
I understand now, I had not followed what God had told me time and time again. Because of that, I wasn’t hearing anything else from Him. I wasn’t feeling His anointing fall though I longed for it.
Recently I told my husband that when I tell him I love him it’s coming from a much deeper well than before. I’ve tapped into the Source that is Love itself. It reminds of the deep well at my grandparents farm. It seemed there was no end to it. The water came out of the tap, cold and refreshing as if it came from the depths of the earth. In reality, I guess it did.
I used to run to sugar and bread for comfort, but that is a bottomless dry pit of dissatisfaction. I could only give out dust because that’s the well I was drawing from.
Now, I draw up clean, cool, refreshing water that drowns out all my cares and worries.
I am open to drawing it up and receiving it. Likewise, I am open to giving because I have been refreshed.
I ask for what I need and I give what others want.
I hear from the God of the universe and I see Him at work in my life.
When difficulties and trials come, my anchor holds firm. My hope is in the God who causes the sun to rise every morning.
I have forgiveness for all the times I’ve failed to do what He’s asked me to do. His forgiveness is based on His overflowing grace, which He poured over me and continues to pour over me with wisdom, understanding and unrestrained love.2 It’s more than I asked for and certainly more than I deserve.
Part of this journey started in forgiving myself for the things I did to my body, the temple of God’s Holy Spirit and in forgiving perceptions and hurts I have held on to for years.
Today I feel like I could bottle living water and hand it out to everyone on the earth. I am full to overflowing.
Here is the main point, if you are feeling disconnected from God, if love seems hard to muster, if anger and frustration reign in your life, do the last thing God told you to do. If you don’t remember what it was, ask Him. Just be open to hear it and do it.
Remember, the words, “I can’t” are not in God’s vocabulary and shouldn’t be in yours either.
When Jesus said, “I have come that you would have life and more abundant,”3 he didn’t mean more cookies. He meant more of Him in your life, more living water. The only way to tap into that Source is to follow the Leader.
Don’t continue to live in this push-pull always fighting against what God says. Drop your bucket into His well and draw up everything you need.
Let me know what He says. I’m waiting.
1 2 John 1:6
2 Ephesians 1:7-8, CEB
3 John 10:10
Teresa Shields Parker is a wife, mother, business owner, life group leader, speaker and author of Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God’s Favor and Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Sugar Addiction. Get a free chapter of her memoir on her blog at Teresa Shields Parker.com. Connect with her there or on her Facebook page.