Have you ever tried to take hold of a child’s hand and they pull it away? They act like you are trying to keep them from something good when really you are trying to protect them while crossing the street or keep them close. There was a season in life when I pulled my hand away from Jesus. I didn’t want His help. His help meant I would have to follow Him and trust that He had good for me. I wanted to walk a different direction and taking His hand would not allow me to do that.
I’ve struggled with food issues my whole life to be honest. Always picky, food was scarce growing up and at 14 the fear of “getting fat” creeped in. In my early twenties I was doing well. Then at some point it snuck back in. Just ten pounds led to too much. It’s never just ten pounds with someone with distorted eating and body dysmorphia. It always becomes too much. The truth is that I wanted to take up as little room in the world as possible. I didn’t want to be in the way, a burden or too visible. So, losing weight made me feel as if I could hide and it had me entangled tightly.
Have you ever tried to get free from something or someone you know is toxic but it has gripped you so tight you can’t free yourself? You know it makes no sense but still you continue in the same toxic lifestyle. That was me with the eating disorder. I knew it was unhealthy. Everyone around me didn’t understand it but for me I felt entangled up in a sin I could see no way free from. I couldn’t even admit that I was entangled up to begin with.
A few years ago we moved to Washington Illinois for ministry. A lady attending our church at the time asked Jessie Rayos if I had an issue with food. She said she was praying for that part of my life to break. Suddenly it became less enticing. Suddenly I wanted free but I just didn’t know freedom would be possible. Suddenly the power this issue had over me for years was no longer strong enough to fight against what someone had taken hold of in prayer. When I say I could not pick it up and continue on with it I really couldn’t. The war in my mind ended. It felt like something or someone was standing in the gap. It felt as if my hand was being held and I was being told I could walk away from the scale, the diets and the obsession. God was standing in between me and the enemy and they were both fighting hard but guess whose hand I reached for?
Shut the mouth of the Lions for Daniel. (Daniel 6)
Protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from burning in the fire. ( Daniel 3:16-40)
Parted the Red Sea for Moses. (Exodus 14:19-31)
Fed the 5000. (Matthew 14:13-21)
Healed a blind man. (Mark 10:46-52)
And He wants to do the same for you.
Here is the thing though…
Daniel had to remain faithful and continue trusting Jesus while in the lions den.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego trusted Jesus while standing in the fire.
Moses had to trust Jesus as he held out his staff.
The little boy had to trust Jesus with the little he had.
The blind man had to trust Jesus and open his eyes.
Each of these individuals reached out with trust for the hand of Jesus. Jesus walked through the valley with them and He will walk through whatever valley you are walking in. Jesus WILL show up. He will help you out of the whatever it is that has you entangled but you have to first take His hand.
At some point, I took the hand of Jesus and he has held it tightly since.
I still wake up, look in the mirror and I don’t always like what I see. The difference now is that I don’t let that feeling control me. There are times in life when it’s more difficult to fight this area. When I feel I’m losing control in an area of life I immediately begin to think about calorie restricting, obsessive exercise and weighing myself several times a day. It’s a fight I’ll always be in but I’ll never be in it alone. Jesus doesn’t wish I were less visible. He doesn’t view me as a burden. He loves me and He love you so much. Are you entangled and out of control in a specific area in your life? Just reach up, grab His hand and watch how He pulls you free.
“For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God.And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41:13 NLT