Day 24: Oatmeal
Towards the end of my competition preparations, my food choices were becoming quite limited. One morning, I made a huge pot of steel cut oats for my family. I was going to put the leftovers in the fridge and eat a small portion from it every morning. I couldn’t wait! Just as I was about to pour me a fresh, hot bowl of oatmeal, my trainer texted me. She let me know that oatmeal was no longer on my menu for the last two weeks of competition. I became so upset. I had been looking forward to eating oatmeal since it was one of the only few carbohydrates I had left. But now I had to say goodbye to oatmeal for now. I remember almost wanting to give up. Although oatmeal seems like such a small thing, it felt huge to me since I was already sacrificing so much. Finally, I prayed and the Holy Spirit talked me off of the ledge. He reminded me of the bigger plan He was accomplishing in my life.
When God is accomplishing something big in our life, it is easy to get frustrated over little things when we are making great sacrifices. Satan wants us to give up, so he tries to get our attention away from the bigger picture and onto the details. We have to keep our thoughts on the overarching plot that God is moving into place. Giving up on my competition over oatmeal seems funny now, but at the moment I was so emotionally weak from sacrifice. I was far out of my comfort zone and every little change brought me into a state of frustration. I had to constantly refocus my perspective on why I was competing in the first place: to challenge myself and others to a greater awareness of physical health.
When God is doing something big in our lives that takes a lot of sacrifice, we must have a firm understanding of what God is trying to accomplish. If we don’t have a greater purpose for our sacrifice, it will be too easy to give up. From the start, we must identify the God’s Higher Purpose, so we can remind ourselves over and over again when things get tough. Achieving victory takes hard work and sacrifice, and we can get caught up in the small details if we are not careful. Instead of focusing on what I couldn’t have, I needed to remind myself of the gift of health God had given me. I was blessed just to have the ability to compete. Once I surrendered the details (including my oatmeal) to the Holy Spirit, I was able to make the necessary sacrifices, knowing that in just a few short weeks that I would accomplish the victory that God had placed before me.
“But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!” (2 Chronicles 15.7 NKJV).
God, help me not to get lost in the small details of the awesome plan that You are achieving through me. I want to constantly keep my eyes on the bigger picture, so I won’t get discouraged by the little sacrifices it takes along the way. I know that great victories take great sacrifices, and I choose not to give-up when I am so close to the finish line. I realize that these sacrifices are not forever, and I can remain strong in the grace that You are pouring out onto me during this difficult time. Remind me of Your overarching purposes today. I trust that You always have eternal rewards for my obedience. I pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.
~ Is God trying to accomplish something great in you?
~ What sacrifices are beginning to wear you down?
~ What is God’s purpose in your frustration and pain?
God has an overarching plot!