How many of you have a food sensitivity or allergy? I know, this is a silly question for a New Year's post!
My daughter has a gluten sensitivity. Too much of it will give her headaches. Thankfully, it is not a gluten allergy, but it does create stress in her body, nonetheless. Regarding allergies and sensitivities, this is what WebMD says, "A food allergy is caused by your immune system reacting to the food when it doesn't need to. With a food intolerance, your immune system isn't responsible. Most of the time it's a problem with digesting the food." 1
With an allergic reaction, one's body is wrongly fighting what is otherwise good. Even with a food sensitivity, the body isn't properly digesting. The processing is 'off' in some way.
I feel as if we have to analyze how we spiritually process our life's bumps (trials)! When a trial strikes, is our automatic response to 'wrongly fight what is otherwise good?' (See my blog post on 'Bumps Galore' regarding Romans 8.) 2
Do we have a spiritual allergy or aversion to hard times? Or perhaps sometimes, do we 'just' have a sensitivity issue to the trial? Maybe we're not all-out fighting God about our circumstance, but perhaps we're not processing it adequately enough, resulting in needless spiritual digestive discomfort. Please, please, know that I am not downplaying the pain that a trial can bring. The trials in life can be intense, and we have been created as beings with emotions. I am just talking about our perspective on responding to trials...are we negatively putting up a fight against what God chooses to sovereignly bring our way and for our spiritual good? We just have to guard against having an improper aversion to what God brings along our path.
Let's consider the greatest example of our Savior, Jesus. Matthew 26 sheds light on His extreme sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane before His cruel death on the cross. Matthew 26:36-46 contains a detailed account. It's important to note that while Jesus was still God while on earth, He also had humanity on earth. He experienced suffering and intense sorrow. Ponder verse 38. He said to the 3 disciples who were with Him, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful even unto death..." Being sorrowful was not sinful for Jesus, nor is it for us. Jesus' thought on His pending death was a hard pill to swallow, though. He prayed to God the Father that perhaps this "cup" could pass (verses 39 and 42). In verse 44, we see that Jesus prayed this same prayer THREE times. It reads at the end of verse 44 that Jesus "Prayed the third time, saying the same words."
It is incredibly important to note all of the parts of Jesus' prayer, though. Consider verses 39 and 42 again. Remember Jesus was sorrowful and asked if the "cup" (His lot, if you will) could pass. However, He quickly included the humble words that He wanted God the Father's will to be done!
So, in our trials, we have a perfect example! Sorrow, with an overwhelmed heart, is not sinful!! Yet, we must keep a soft heart that is willing to accept God's plan--His will--with a heart of trust!
I posted this on New Year's to help encourage all of us to be careful this year with how we approach hard times. Let's not use our energy fighting the trial (and definitely not fighting God)! Let's use it on fighting our sinful propensities in the midst of a trial!
In the coming weeks, my mom, Debbie, will be having posts about "The Road Ahead". Her first will be about detours!
1. WebMD Medical Reference, Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS, Feb 18, 2020 https://www.webmd.com/allergies/food-allergy-intolerances . Accessed Jan 1, 2021 2. https://www.bumpsareokay.com/post/bumps-galore