Breakfast last Thursday morning was a Coke and a devil's cream cake. Empty calories. Junk. Not what my body needed as fuel before I spent the morning seeing patients. It was a guarantee that I'd crash before lunch and need a snack to pull me out of my slump. My body doesn't function well on empty calories. If I start the day with my normal fruit and yogurt smoothie, I can go strong for hours. But if I'm not prepared, or if I simply decide to be lazy and not take the time to make something healthy, I grab junk food, and I pay the price.
It's easy to feed my soul junk, too. When I'm feeling worn down, it's so much easier to open Candy Crush Saga than my She Reads Truth app, or to pull up Criminal Minds on the DVR instead of opening a book. I can make every excuse for why I should veg out on the couch instead of going for a run or working on my to-do list. Not that it's always bad to relax. Sometimes our body and brain need to tune everything out. More often, though, we need to push through the exhaustion and the cravings for junk and really feed our souls.
This has been a tough year. I've gone through two job changes. My family and I stayed sick for weeks at the beginning of the year, passing illnesses back and forth. Right now I'm deep into edits on my first novel. It's painful. One of the hardest things I've ever done. Emotions are high right now. Fear peeks around every corner as I make plans to submit my manuscript to agents in a few months. It's been a year of refinement, in more ways than one, and it's scary.
I've learned something through all these changes. I am weak. That's the biggest thing God is teaching me. On my own, I fall so easily into sin. I slip into fear, negative attitudes, and bad habits. It takes so little for me to fall. One day of not reading my Bible, skipping a morning of reminding myself of His promises, and I'm falling, my faith growing weaker.
Clinging to God isn't an option. Dwelling with Him every day isn't just something I should do - it's something I have to do. If I don't stay on my face before God seeking Him, I'll fall on my face. The older I get, the more I learn about Him, the more I realize how desperately I need His grace and mercy. I am completely incapable of making it on my own.
Psalm 31:16 (NASB) should be our daily prayer: "Make Your face to shine upon Your servant; Save me in Your lovingkindness." Save me, Lord, because on my own I'm own, I'm a sinful, fear-filled mess. I can't do this life without you holding my hand. My soul can't live on empty calories. Help me fill up on You every day.