We are only a week and a half away from Easter – the celebration of the eternity-altering moment where Christ rose and defeated death, won this wicked Gentile back to Himself, created a place for me in His family. What an incredibly joyous day.
But there are still 11 days until the sun rises on Easter morning.
Do you observe Lent? It’s a hallowed and rich church tradition – forty days of choosing to walk a solemn road, choosing to sacrifice, choosing to be exposed in our weakness. When Lent began this year, I had a thought that I should give up sugar. I fought it. I ignored it.
But three days into the Lenten journey, the Holy Spirit showed me with such utter conviction that this thought was God’s thought for me. The past several weeks have been astounding. I have realized that food (and specifically sugar) has a strong hold on my heart. I have also realized how much my sugar addiction has been hurting this temple that Christ dwells in. Since stopping sugar, and without changing a single other thing, I have lost almost 10 lbs.
The first few weeks weren’t that difficult. My body rather quickly adjusted to all the foods I love sans sugar. Coffee being one of the most paramount. I had the fleeting thought that I might get through Lent without much of a challenge.
Did I say fleeting?
The last week I have found myself utterly craving. I want sugar so bad I find myself pacing in front of the pantry, or opening the fridge several times – looking for the thing I so desperately want. Over and over again I am reminded of my weakness – of the sinful man being put to death daily. I am sent running back to the cross of Christ, back to the arms of a Savior who understands me and has compassion on me.
More than a simple craving for sugar, however, I have been surprised to find myself craving worldliness…sin. Almost a year ago I came out of a very dark place. My escape in those darkest months was found in reading – voracious, all-consuming reading. There wasn’t a moment of the day that you couldn’t find me without a Kindle in hand. I started out with what are (for me) “gateway drugs” – sweet Christian romance novels. Running out of those fairly quickly, I started reading non-Christian, but still (fairly) clean romance novels. But over time that slippery slope led me into erotica. I devoured hundreds of these books. I am so grateful that God rescued me.
But recently? The cravings to escape into easy, cheap words has been strong.
I am not sure why. Perhaps it is because I am feeling the stress of the changes happening in my little world. I think at least a part of it is spiritual backlash from writing this blog.
I hear that siren song often throughout my day, but especially right as the children go down for their afternoon naps. Alone in the house – it would take 10 minutes to download a library book onto my Kindle. My husband would never have to know. I would only read one. I could stop whenever I wanted to. Besides, I deserve a break.
And then, I look over at my dining table, and I see this –
I see a daily reminder of the sacrifice Christ made – of the cross He has called me to bear along with Him.
And so I take dirty dishes to the sink and begin to wash. I sit and compose a card to a dear friend far away. I began to busy myself with the work of following Christ – by serving my family, loving those He sends my way. I fight sin with work – I fight it with busy hands and a busy heart. I fight it with prayer – prayer for you.
I am praying for you today, ladies. I have started a journal filled with the names of all the women that have written on this blog – and I plan on letting you know when God brings you to mind. I plan on sending out a message to you via Twitter when I pray (and I promise I will never give away your name, I will only use the alias you have written under). Feel free to follow me if you would like.
And please keep me in prayer also. Some days the fight is very hard. I cannot tell you how much I rely on the prayers of the Body of Christ.
What about you? What sings a siren song to you? How do you fight the good fight?
Kept in Him,