Friday, July 10, 2009

The Mercy Ring

As I walked on the tread-climber today, my mercy ring caught my eye. Honestly, I never take it off, except to wash dishes. I think that it is beautiful, not necessarily because of its physical appearance. It might not be a size and style that I would pick for my finger, and people are often asking if I am married or engaged. I gaze at it and love it with such a fierce passion because of what it represents. It screams “freedom” to me. It tells the story of my transformation every time it catches my eye. It reminds me of the liberty and release from bondage as one who was lost but now is found. It speaks to me the pervasive presence of the Holy Trinity in my life.

Samuel, as he was leading the Israelites in their smiting of the Philistines, took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, declaring, “thus far the Lord has helped us.” I stand between the place of promise and the promised land, saying the same thing that Samuel did as he firmly planted the Ebenezer stone in the ground.

IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off]. Galatians 5:1

Paul is absolutely relevant for today as he is speaking to the church of Galatia. God has set me free. He has liberated me from the chains of anorexia and depression that once choked and almost killed me. I am COMPLETELY liberated, according to the Amplified version. Paul declares the freedom of the believer. He then commands each individual to STAND FAST. He continually refers to this freedom throughout the book of Galatians, because the church has forgotten her freedom. She is running back to the worship of the law and its mandates. They have put off the yoke of slavery, but they are not immune to its mesmerizing appeal. Why is it so attractive? It was hell on earth. My life before mercy was 14 years of despair, bondage, and death. My life since mercy, while containing multiple struggles and devastating circumstances, has been full of joy, hope, favor, and blessing. I CAN go back to the yoke of slavery, but I CHOOSE not to. I CHOOSE to recall to my mind the works that the Lord has done and the wonderful consequences of obedience.

As I walked the tread climber today, I was reminded of my limits. After a decade of bondage to excessive exercise, I have sought to honor the Lord with my body through moderate activity. My limit is thirty minutes. I can do less, but I cannot do more. The flesh screams more. Five more minutes would not be detrimental, according to the sin nature fed by the lies of the enemy. My soulish nature today said, “A little more would be ok.” Then I saw the glistening of the stones in my ring. I recalled the freedom, and I chose through the power of the Lord my liberator to stand fast. I have been asked to participate in cycle classes that last an hour. For some people, that may be fine. For me, it is crossing the line into potential idolatry. God directs my eyes to my right hand, and I say “no thanks.” Sometimes it opens wide a door to share my testimony.

As I open my eyes in the morning, I stretch and the sun catches my ring. I remember how God’s word has sustained me and brought forth freedom into my life. His word has replaced the lies with the truth. The bed is so comfortable, and an hour more of sleep would feel so good. The Spirit whispers a reminder of the vital need that I have for sustenance through the feast of His word. I rise and enjoy my first meal of the day with my Lord. I look back and I see the progressive work of God’s renewal of my mind as I allowed His word to replace the lies of the eating disorder. My ring reminds me of the truth, which has set me free. My ring also calls me to walk in that freedom through abiding in the Vine. In this, I STAND FAST.

It is 11:45 AM. I face the hardest meal of the day: Lunch. I don’t know why it has always been so difficult, but my flesh still begs me to compromise. I open the refrigerator, at a loss. I shift my gaze to the gleaming of the silver that dances on my finger. I remember the glorious realization that my body needs food on a regular basis. I remember that my body did not blow up as a result of eating a healthy balanced lunch during my time at mercy. I look into the refrigerator with renewed zest and determination. I act out the call of my mercy ring. It says to STAND FIRM and not to fall back into the yoke of slavery to restriction the demands more and more calorie cutting and meal skipping. I will not be mastered again by a false god of my own making.

In its own basic substance, my mercy ring holds no power. It is the voice of the Lord that whispers as He reminds me of His wonderful works of healing through His great mercy that brought me to the place where Nancy slid the ring on my finger, and I declared, “SATAN HAS BEEN DEFEATED!” I cannot forget what the Lord has done in my life as long as I keep tangible reminders of the milestones and victories that He has accomplished. I am so thankful for the Ebenezer stone, which is my mercy ring. I look at my tri-stone ring and declare, “thus far the Lord has helped me.” Why would He stop now?

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Megan. I would love to see a picture of your ring. Sounds like the Lord is doing amazing things in your life! Be blessed--Laura Arnold