This week, I have shared skeletons from my closet (admitting I have an unhealthy relationship with food) and begun a challenge to become physically fit while improving my relationship with God. My imperfections are tied into a beautiful bow by God himself. I could not do this on my own, He is working in and through me to share these posts. But that doesn’t mean Satan hasn’t been trying to jeopardize my efforts. I have had Internet connection problems, causing me to stress about blog posts getting published on time. I have had “anonymous commenters” write mean and ugly things, which, by the way, will never be seen because I mark them as spam and they are deleted immediately. There is a block of cheese in the fridge begging to be made into queso or homemade pimento cheese but I refuse to make either. My hips are sore from Zumba and my legs hurt from cycling, but I still went back for more.
Temptation has never been more real or readily available than it has this week. To test my limits even more, today is National Donut Day. Nationwide, customers at any Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme can get a free pastry. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL!!!!!
Donuts are my weakness, they are the trifecta of everything I want but obediently avoid: carbs, dairy, and sugar. These three things are my temptations, they are my trigger foods. I can’t eat just one donut, I want six. I can’t eat just a handful of donut holes, I want an entire bag.
I hate to disappoint, but I won’t be celebrating National Donut Day.
Let’s continue yesterday’s conversation in Deuteronomy, where Moses cautioned the Israelites to not worship other gods or make anyone or anything an idol. At the time, false prophets lived among the Israelites, telling far-fetched stories and interpreting dreams, but Moses advised them not to listen. He warned about empty promises and to obey God’s commandments.
The Lord your God is testing you to see if you truly love him with all your heart and soul. Serve only the Lord your God … Obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him. The false prophets or visionaries who try to lead you astray must be put to death, for they encourage rebellion against the Lord your God, who redeemed you from slavery and brought you out of the land of Egypt. Since they try to lead you astray from the way the Lord your God commanded you to live, you must put them to death. In this way you will purge the evil from among you. ~ Deuteronomy 13:3-5 (New Living Translation)
I don’t really think the issue is so much about God testing us as it is US TESTING GOD. Think of it like a parent disciplining a child: I tell Kamden not to touch a door handle in hopes he won’t smash his fingers. What does he do? He looks at me while reaching for the door – the little stink! He is (slowly) learning parameters and consequences, bless his adorable heart.
But I cling, literally, to another part of this passage, “Serve only the Lord your God … obey his commands, listen to his voice, and cling to him.”
A few months ago, I was on a donut-eating spree. I ate donuts and donut holes every chance I got. Then something miraculous happened. I left home with the intent of visiting the donut shop and then dropping off mail at the post office. On the way, my heart strings were being tugged. I knew my cravings for donuts were spinning recklessly out of control. I didn’t need donuts, I wanted them. As I was approaching the intersection, the light suddenly changed from green to red. I wasn’t going fast enough to lock my brakes, but I slowed quickly. That’s when I heard a voice whisper, “This is your chance to turn around.”
There were no vehicles in front of or behind me so when the left arrow signal turned green, I checked for other vehicles before turning immediately into the post office. I put my greeting cards in the big blue bin beside the curb and went about my day, without visiting the donut shop. I listened to that voice instead of my impulsive cravings.
I am not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination, but on that day I obeyed the Lord my God, listened to His voice, and clung to Him. I haven’t had a donut since the first of April. In a way, I have purged a little of the evil in my life by avoiding donut shops – even on National Donut Day.