My husband and I finished a marathon ten-day business trip recently. We both worked from early morning to late night. In between, we visited with colleagues, friends, and family. We had little, if any, down time. We climbed aboard the plane home exhausted in body and mind. But you know what? Some of the words the Lord speaks so clearly to my heart come in moments when I am at the end of my physical self.
We were on a newer plane, the kind with the screens that lower every few seats, entertainment streaming the entire flight. Now there was a time when if a TV was on, I had to partake. I couldn’t tear myself away. I needed to hear what those people on the screen were talking about, even if it turned out to be nothing. (Which was generally the case.) This was especially true when I was tired.
Meanwhile, the flight attendant moved down the aisle to take our drink orders. There was a time in my life I wouldn’t have batted an eye about ordering a soda (a “coke” as we’d say in the south, even when we’d then order a Dr. Pepper!) Then there came the season where I shunned soft drinks except on special occasions. Or when I was stressed out. A travel day would have met both of those criteria.
Neither TV or soft drinks were terrible vices, but both were things I’d felt the Lord ask me to address in my life. (Not saying everyone has to address these things, just that the Lord asked me to address them in myself, so they both became an issue of obedience for me.)
But this day on the plane, without thinking and even in my complete exhaustion, I hardly glanced at the flickering screen overhead (and didn’t reach for my earbuds to hear it) and ordered water. No struggle. Not even a second thought.
Do you miss them? whispered across my heart.
I knew instantly what He meant. I thought for a moment, then a smile crept over my face. In the years during and after weaning myself off TV (Not that I cut out TV altogether, I just didn’t want to be a compulsory watcher, having to give it my attention just because it was on.) and soft drinks–even diet ones–I thought I would always struggle against them, always wish for them but deny myself by sheer force of will. But somewhere in the aftermath, my tastes changed. I changed. I realized I didn’t miss either one. At all.
And how good is that of God? He asked me to give up something, then eventually took away my desire for it. I know that doesn’t happen in every instance, but it sure encouraged me in that moment. It reminded me that God is indeed accomplishing His work in me. And seeing that so clearly gives me greater strength to continue this journey of faith He has called me to walk.
Now if I could only make that same leap with some other things in my life. Like sugar.