I loved growing up a true country girl!! I have always lived on a farm! When I was in high school, my parents bought a beautiful farm about 6 miles from the little burg that identified where this piece of land is located. However, this little burg was not exactly beautiful. It was often said, “if you blink you will miss it”. No stop lights, a few stop signs, run down houses, some engine blocks hanging from trees in front yards, and a locally owned corner store that just happened to have good pizza and subs. As cell phones became prevalent, when in this little valley, the phones had no service. I was almost embarrassed to claim this map dot as my address, but never embarrassed to say I am a small-town country girl.
Nazareth is marked as Jesus’s hometown. In that day Nazareth was a very rocky, small burg. It was non-descript, lacking in beauty or any modern conveniences of the times. Nazareth was cramped for space enough that it didn’t quite accommodate even the small population of residence. Apparently you could find nooks and crannies that were adapted into suboptimal housing. Farming was the main way of life, but not especially lucrative due to the poor rocky soils. Yet, this is where Jesus grew up leading the ordinary life and learning the trade of carpentry. When Jesus was grown and had started his ministry, He entered Nazareth. His hometown people recognized Him, knew the family He grew up in, and yet… they denied Him as The Messiah. He showed up with the wisdom of God to teach, and the power of God to heal. Mark 6 actually says that he couldn’t do much mighty works there because of their refusal to come to Him in belief. They rejected Him. Actually His own family (brothers and sisters) denied who He was. In contrast, Jesus later travels to the town of Gennesaret. A town known for it’s beauty and fertility. It was a lush shore-line on the sea of Galilee, actually known as the “paradise of Galilee”. The name Gennesaret means garden of riches. The people enjoyed a spacious region with much flowing water. The area produced an abundance of trees, flowers, olives, grapes, figs, and wheat. We find that when Jesus of Nazareth traveled to this gem of a city, the people immediately knew Him and began to carry sick people from all over this land out to him believing he could heal each ailment.
Living with and through any type of eating disorder is a very desolate, rocky, suboptimal way of living. Like living in Nazareth, it is difficult to truly be productive and live an abundant life. This is a reality mostly because this addiction sucks all your energy and resources. The mind of someone suffering with an eating disorder becomes consumed with maintaining this way of life or with thoughts of food. The side effects on the physical body are energy draining as well. An anorexic doesn’t have the caloric intake to sustain and becomes lethargic. The bulimic’s body is in a state of low energy from the binge-purge cycle. A binge eater’s body experiences lethargy from the overload of calories. These addictions are all-encompassing mind, body and spirit. Very often the mind-set of a lady with an eating disorder is denial. She will reject healing help often unable to see the truth. Denial is fueled by both internal and external factors lasting a timespan that is different for each individual. Mark 6 also shares that the towns people of Nazareth were offended at Jesus. Ladies in denial will react the same way to help. They often become offended and reject the help to heal. While in denial, rejection of help keeps the addicted person in a rocky, desolate place. Every nook and cranny of their life is filled with fear and the lies they are believing. When an eating disorder becomes the main way of life it is not lucrative. Sadly, sufferers become like a crop withering in poor soil lacking an adequate water source.
How does the mind set of a lady with an eating disorder in denial, rejecting healing help differ from someone who is at a point of acceptance seeking recovery? Like the people of Gennesaret differed from Nazareth, so does the mind of someone that is going to accept that they truly have a food addiction/eating disorder. The people of Gennesaret immediately went to Jesus. Mark 6 says they straight away knew Him. The story says as many as touched Him were made whole. Like their town, these people were accepting, believed in His healing power and as a result gained full life and beauty in every way. A lady who is in a place of accepting the truth can then begin her journey to healing and living in recovery. A life that will be rich, abundant and beautiful when compared to the desolate place she lived in before.
Eating disorders take inside difficulties, heartaches, losses, rejections, pressures and turn the focus to the outward appearance. It is a battle of the mind and flesh that leads to bondage, defeat, constant coping and a cycle of the same. Jesus said ” I am the way, the truth and the life”… He said this in response to one of his disciples that didn’t know the way to the truth Jesus was sharing. To get out of the bonds of an eating disorder the afflicted must first begin to question her thought life and coping mechanisms. She must first accept that she is believing lies. Lies that she is overweight. Lies that food can help relieve pain. Lies that with-holding food gives her control. Lies that acceptance and value come from the way she looks. Ultimately, she must accept the truth.
I have good news!!! It is called the Gospel message. Just as Jesus walked village to village with the mighty Power of God to heal and the wisdom of God to teach, and giving the people of each little town the opportunity to accept Him. We have that same opportunity today. John 10:10 says ” The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Just as vs. 10 says we can believe the lies of this world then allow the devil, and our thought life to steal, kill and destroy our lives through eating disorders and food addictions. OR, we can choose to accept the gift of life and salvation out of this desolate rocky place. This life Jesus speaks of begins the second you accept Him as your Saviour. Along with this life of abundance comes the gift of eternal life in heaven.
Maybe there are ladies who have already received Christ as Saviour and are still struggling with eating issues. I would encourage these ladies to accept God’s wisdom. Seek His Word. Romans 10:10 “Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”. If the eating disorder/food addiction cycle you are living in is not proving good in your life, then you know the truth… it is not God’s perfect will. John 8:31-32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Having a relationship with God, being in His Word, and in fellowship with other believers will increase a person’s faith. God can give you strength, freedom, healing, and victory. God’s Word says He can give you transformation when you turn away from the denial and toward acceptance.
If you are someone, or know someone living in denial, take an honest look at Nazareth and Gennesaret. Do you truly want to remain in the rocky, desolate, withering town or would you like to accept the truth, look for healing, and move to a life like the people of Gennesaret?
I am still a small-town, boot wearing country girl who loves the outdoors, the barn, and working with animals, but… I am not just a girl from a desolate dot on a map. I chose acceptance over denial. I have freedom and life abundantly because I cried out to God and He did give me victory and healing. He transformed my mind out of the eating disorder cycle and continues to sustain my life exceedingly!!!!!
For more information on salvation in Christ and living abundantly through a relationship with God contact:
Us-Ward.com firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com 937-456-3919