Lack: 1. Deficiency. 2. Absence. 3. The state of being without or not having enough of something.
The rich young man approached Jesus because although he was following all the rules he still felt as though something was missing from his pursuit of God. He asked Jesus: “I have observed all these things; what do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:20).
I can totally relate to this question. I’ve done this. I’ve tried that. I’ve started new things and then gotten side-tracked. I’ve followed the rules. But something is still missing. I feel as though I don’t have enough of something and I’m often left feeling unsatisfied. Unfulfilled. Incomplete. Hollow. Empty. Lacking.
Today I signed up for my first study in over 12 months with my friends Melissa Taylor and Nicki Koziarz and the Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Studies Team. The “Made to Crave” book by Lysa TerKeurst and the accompanying study is going to be all about breaking the cycle I know so well – the “I’ll start again on Monday” cycle.
Every Monday I make a new promise to myself to eat less and exercise more. In the past I’ve been consistent long enough to lose weight. And then I’ve gained it back. And lost it again. It’s not that I don’t know how to lose weight, I just don’t always want to do what it takes. Because what it takes means that I have to make a decision that the change I want will be worth the sacrifice I am going to have to make. No more excuses.
I know what I don’t want: I don’t want to spend a lifetime in this cycle.
The irony is, as I’m sitting here reading the introduction to the book, I’ve just devoured half a packet of biscuits (cookies). And somewhere deep in the back of my mind I hear Jesus saying to me: “You’re going to have to give up the one thing you crave more than Me.” Ouch. And I sit here just a little ashamed because I have put many other things before God. And because of that I find myself in this place called ‘lack’. Thankfully God loves me. He knows my ongoing struggle with this cycle and because He loves me so much, He doesn’t want to leave me in this place of defeat. He wants me to have victory in this area in my life.
Personally, I hope this study will be more than just about eating less, exercising more, losing weight and finally making some sort of ‘peace’ with my body. I imagine this study will be about reaching healthy physical goals but it will also be about meeting some very important emotional and spiritual goals too. I want to use this study to recalibrate my soul and give up the things I crave more than God in order to get closer to Him. I hope that in this place of vulnerability God will show me what it is that I lack and why it is that I fill that void with food.
So, as Melissa reminds me, Isaiah 43:18-19 says: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. Don’t think about what happened a long time ago, because I am doing something new! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a road in the desert and rivers will flow through that dry land.”
Yes, I’ve been here before. On many Monday mornings. But I’m not going to dwell on those past Mondays and past promises any more because God is going to do a new thing. Do you not see it? I do!
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