A few weeks ago, I asked a friend of mine to pray for me. I was trying to put together a group of people dedicated to praying for one another on a daily basis and I asked her if she would be willing to remember me in prayer about the selection process. I was looking for other women who wouldn’t feel like they needed to fix me, or counsel me, but would be willing to pray for and with me. I had belonged to a similar group in the 90’s and found it very helpful in keeping me focused and on track in life. I wanted to duplicate those results in my life today, but wasn’t entirely sure what direction God wanted me to go with the project yet, thus the request for prayer.
During the time when I was talking to this friend about my idea, we entered into a discussion of dieting. Neither she, nor I, liked the idea of jumping on board with some crazy, insanely restrictive fad diet, and we don’t need a drill sergeant to bark out commands or crack the whip when we’ve fallen short of our goal. We just want to lose some weight, ramp up our activity level and feel better. Shortly after confessing to one another that we could stand to lose a few pounds and needed help to do it, my friend invited me to join her and two others who had also taken up this challenge. We’d borrow from the faith of the Lenten season and see how far it took us. As of today, I’m feeling good about the fact that I’m doing something constructive to meet this need.
I imagine some of you have taken on a new eating habit yourself in the past. It’s invigorating to begin a new program, but, oh boy, waiting for the pounds to come off is not easy. It requires a lot of patient endurance—a discipline I will admit I need to practice. The thing about dieting is that if you want to see success, you have to be in it for the long haul. A two pound loss in a week is great, but if you want to lose 15 pounds, that means you’re going to be at it for at least 52 days, which translates into 158 meals, and 158 chances to fall off the wagon. That’s if you include weekends! Taking all that into account, it’s not hard to understand why men and women everywhere delay starting a better eating plan until they feel the motivation to follow it through. Sadly, that motivation never arrives.
I’ve learned you can’t wait for your miracle to happen. You have to believe and begin that journey, trusting the results to the Lord. Listen to what God told Joshua as he faced his own challenge in a strange and unpredictable land:
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
As we wait for Easter to arrive, let’s all find something we can trust the Lord for—whether it be weight loss or the gathering together of a few friends who will join with us in prayer. I encourage you in this way because I sincerely believe that every effort we make to draw closer to our Lord finds its own reward in the closeness with others that we receive.