“Girl, you look good! What you been doing?”
“Wow! You’ve lost a lot of weight; how did you do it?”
Those are the questions that I used to ask other women when I noticed their weight loss. I was envious, and I wanted to know how I could have the weight-freedom that I believed they had. Because I grew up hearing and seeing that skinny was good, and fat/overweight was bad, I envied how women who used to be my size could lose all their weight and then stand before me, svelte and confident. And when I would ask their secret, their response normally included some intense workout regimen or strict diet that I was not mentally ready to handle (fyi- I loathe exercise and avoid it at all costs).
However, those are also the same questions that people have asked me as I travel on my [second] weight loss journey. Likewise, when I tell people how I’ve lost the weight, they all say the same thing, “Oh, I can’t give up meat.”
My response to them now (and to me in the past): Don’t ask ‘til you’re ready.
Or maybe you know that person who always asks you for advice, you pray to God for guidance, and then you give the best advice possible… but that person says, “Nah, I can’t do that.”
When we look at the “thriving” lives of others, we tend to desire what they have, not considering the struggle or battle that they had to endure to get to the place that we currently see. But we must remember that that Oprah and Jordan weren’t born wealthy, Prince and Michael Jackson dealt with many personal struggles, and Biggie and Tupac both died at the height of their fame. What we see on the outside came (and continues to come) at a high cost. Yes, seeing me share that I’ve lost 120lbs may appeal to and inspire others, but they don’t understand or see the physical pain that I had to endure when my GI tract stopped processing everything that I used to eat. I was forced to adapt to a new lifestyle, if I wanted to live without pain. I wasn’t ready…but I had to become ready.
So, again I say: don’t ask ‘til you’re ready.
Open your bibles to Mark 10:17-22 (NKJV is below):
17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”
18 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’ ”
20 And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”
21 Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
22 But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Here we read that Jesus and the disciples were walking, minding their own business, when a young man ran up to Jesus. The man wanted to know what he needed to do in order to inherit eternal life, so Jesus quoted the Word and recalled the Commandments to him. The man then said that he knew and had been doing all that but wanted to know what else he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Well, he asked…so Jesus answered. We see that Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give it to the poor. Needless to say, the young man was in his feelings with this response because he was materially rich. But he did ask… He was not ready for the response that Jesus would give in telling him to relinquish earthly possessions in order to gain eternal and heavenly possessions. Clearly, he wasn’t ready.
Beloved, oftentimes we are not ready for all of the things that we request, desire, and bring before the Lord. We think that we have done all that we should do in order to get what we desire, but God, who knows our hearts, knows that we are not yet ready for what we ask. If we continue to read that passage (Mark 10:23-27), we see that Jesus tells His disciples that it is hard for us to part with what we think we need in order to get what He has for us.
Let go of your wants and allow God to supply your needs.
If you get nothing else from this message, get this: When you ask something of the Lord (or anyone else, for that matter), please be prepared for the response that will follow. If we are faint of heart, we can easily become discouraged by the response that God will provide. Yet, if we are strong in faith, we will hear His answer and continue to ready ourselves for the time in which He will provide our needs.
But whatever you do, don’t ask ‘til you’re ready!