With the new year on it's way many people are hitting the gyms hard in hopes of shedding those unwanted pounds. Last night was this seasons premier of The Biggest Loser, which I always enjoy watching. It's amazing to watch morbidly obese people shed so much weight in a matter of weeks. On TV we watch as fat, ugly, depressed, single women turn into beautiful, happy fit women who find their true love. Seems perfect, doesn't it? Many people think if I could just have that one thing (marriage, a baby, weight loss, the perfect job, friends, better residence, perfect health, etc) then I would finally be happy. But oh how we are deceived.
I've never quite thought that, but I have been one to think if something in my life would change life would be a lot better. When I came back to the States after serving 2 years in Africa I struggled with acne, the deep, cystic type. For some reason when I hit 23-24 years old my complexion took a turn for the worse (good old hormones). While to others my skin wasn't "that bad" to me it was life changing. I got depressed and it consumed my thoughts (even my prayers). I looked at other young women with beautiful skin and thought, "why me, God"? I also came back from Africa a little overweight (ironic, I know) so I started exercising. Because I couldn't control my acne I got a little obsessive with my weight loss journey. With the help of synthetic hormones (thanks birth control) my acne got a lot better, but I continued to exercise and watch my calories until I got down to a very thin 115 pounds (at 5'6") on my wedding day. (I often wonder if those two things, birth control and losing so much weight, played a part in the pain I suffer with today.) When I was in the midst of my "suffering" with acne I thought "I'd be happy even if I still had some small pimples". But when that day came I was focused on another issue...losing weight. When we get what we want there's always something else we want that will make us happier knocking at the door.
Getting that husband or a baby or moving or the perfect body, or even getting cured from pudendal neuralgia WILL NOT make anyone truly happy. Because what happens when you get married only to lose your spouse in your first year of marriage in a car accident or you lose 100 pounds only to find out you have a rare form of cancer with no form of treatment. Suffering is the name of the game in this life. If you are born you will suffer, the Bible tells us that (John 16:33). Jesus is the only source of true joy in this life. He has come that we might have abundant life in Him (John 10:10).
This is why I feel sorry for the contestants on The Biggest Loser, as so many of them are looking for joy in the wrong place. While right now I long to be healed from this horrible pelvic pain so badly, I know that this life is fleeting and it is just preparation for the life to come (in heaven). And more than anything on this Earth I want to be more like God...I want to be who He wants me to be. And if it takes suffering (and I know it does, as scripture tells us) to get there, then God will give me the grace to endure my trials here.
"for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8