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Blessings Without Sacrifice

I walk into the closest and reach for my faithful cotton, draw string Capri pants that have become the staple of my wardrobe. As I am taking them off the hanger the denim Capri catch my eye and the thought crosses my mind, maybe today I could wear my stylish denims without feeing smothered. I confidently place the faithful cottons back and hopefully pull at the denim as they roll off the plastic hanger.

With each step into the legs my hope escalates while my mind begins to question. That feeling of hope and doubt rolled into two quick seconds. As I pull from the waist, swaying my hips back and forth to help guide the tight material up my body, I quickly realize I should have stuck with old faithful. I place the cute, stylish denim back on the hanger moving it to the back of the closet in defeat. I reach for the trusty, grey draw string cottons to go with the loose fitted t-shirt and sigh.

Will I ever be able to wear those stylish denim Capris again without feeling like my circulation is being hindered?

The chorus of my sad song that I have sang for a number of years is yet again the sound track for my day. Why is it so hard to lose weight? Will I ever be able to overcome this? Why can’t I just get control over this?

Then the reasoning and justification stanzas begin. I have changed my eating habits. Most of them. Well, except for the cookies I ate last night and the three times I ate out IN ONE DAY this week. BUT, for the most part I do eat well.

I even exercise. When I can. I exercised twice this week. That should count for something.

Does this scenario sound familiar to anyone else? Maybe I am the only person that struggles with this particular issue, but my guess is other people do too.

I want the blessing that a healthy diet (when I say diet I mean how and what I eat) provides, but I don’t want to sacrifice the foods that make my taste buds dance while leaving my body tired and bloated.

I want the blessing of feeling healthy, being active and bounding with energy, but I don’t want to sacrifice my time to work out my body.

Blessings without sacrifice.

Many of us desire to receive the blessings, but are not willing to make the sacrifices.

The promotion at work without the extra effort or overtime.

The academic honors and achievements without the study time.

The happy marriage without the communication or if necessary the counseling.

The well behaved children without the intentional discipline.

The added income from your home business without the promotion of your service or your product.

The closeness to God without time spent with Him.

The knowledge of His Word without the study of His Word.

What blessing are you seeking? Is there a sacrifice God is calling you to make in a particular area of your life?

Not all of God’s blessings require a sacrifice. We serve a gracious God who blesses us beyond our comprehension. There are times though that He will require us to sacrifice.

Matthew 16:4 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

In the book Made To Crave by Lysa Terkeurst she talks about her journey with food and getting healthy. She shares the sacrifices she had to make in order to be obedient to God’s call in this area of her life. She states “A choice can be many things-a privilege, an opportunity, a blessing, a responsibility." I would add a sacrifice as well.

She goes on to say “…a choice can also be an occasion to say ‘I love You’ to God.”

When God asks us to make a sacrifice, He may ask us to lay something down for a short season. Other times He may ask us to sacrifice something never to return to it. Either way, the sacrifice we make is a sacrifice of love and obedience, not expectation.

As I step back and examine my life, especially the area of my health, I need to prayerfully seek God’s direction for any sacrifice I may need to make.

Psalm 51:17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, you God, will not despise.

Sweet Jesus, You are the giver of all good things. You bless us beyond what we could ever imagine or deserve. Thank You for the blessings You bestow upon us daily. May we never take for granted the way You lavish Your love on us. Please show us where we need to sacrifice out of love and obedience, not out of expectation.


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