The holidays between Thanksgiving and New Year’s are typically a time when people overeat or at least eat things that they normally don’t eat. There’s a big turkey dinner, eggnog, cookies galore, special desserts, family gatherings, more big meals, football games, and any other celebrations that people can think up.
Since being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, I’ve tried to really watch what I eat. I try to eat more fruits and vegetables, such as eating the rainbow. I try to limit my white foods, such as sugar, flour and white potatoes. During this time of year it’s even doubly hard to watch what I eat. Too many cookies, too many pies, and just a lot of good sweets. Since each of those white foods is inflammatory, I know that if I eat too much, my legs and feet spasm and cramp more than they usually do.
Since moving to the senior community where I live with my mother, the kitchen here is heavy on meat and potatoes during the evening meal, which is part of our rent. Very little green vegetables, and when they are served they’re way overcooked and mushy. Not the way I like to eat my green vegetables! So I have to get creative with my noon time meal.
Since I have to have my chocolate, I have become a fan of 85% dark chocolate. I didn’t get there quickly. I had to go in stages through different levels of dark chocolate. Now when I eat milk chocolate I feel like I have to have a whole bag or two, but I can have just a little bit of the dark chocolate and it satisfies me perfectly.
I used to love red wine, especially Pinot Noir. But a couple of my medications react badly with alcohol, so I have stopped drinking any kind of alcoholic beverage. Water is the best drink anyway!
But there’s other food and drink that I need more. The kind that feeds me spiritually. And it’s the spiritual food and drink that I need even more. I cannot sustain a victorious, abundant life without it.
Jesus says in John 7:37, “if any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink.” Also in the book of John there is a story about a Samaritan woman who comes to the village’s well to fetch water. Jesus is sitting there as his disciples had gone into the village to find food. Jesus asked her to give him a drink. She was confused, as Samaritans were looked down upon by the Jewish people of the day. Jesus replied “if you knew the gift of God and who it is who says to you get me a drink you would’ve asked him and he would have given you living water.” He then says “whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. but the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of waters spring up to everlasting life.”
That’s the kind of drink I want! With the water Jesus gives, I never have to feel like I am parched or dry. I have rivers of living water in me.
So what about food? After Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, he went into the wilderness to fast and pray for 40 days and 40 nights. At the end of those days, you can imagine how hungry he was. Satan came to him and told him “ if you are the son of God, command the stones become bread.” Instead Jesus said, “it is written, man shall not live by bread alone but by every word proceeds from the mouth of God.”
After his disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, he models a prayer that has become known as the Lord’s prayer. In that prayer he encourages us to ask for God to “give us this day our daily bread”. Beyond God’s word, what is our daily bread?
In John 6, Jesus says “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” And in Matthew 5, in the beatitudes, Jesus says “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
So what does all this mean? It means I have to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, stay in the word of God, pray for and in God’s will, and yearn for the righteousness that comes only through the death of Jesus as he died for my sins, and made a way for me to seek God’s grace and mercy.
Now that is the best New Year’s resolution I can think of!!