Example of a Slow Miracle

food_bingeContinued from here.

As I shared in my last blog entry, people tend to limit the label of “miracle” to situations that require no effort on their part beyond prayer. I disagree because I have experienced several “slow miracles” in my life, and they were not only miraculous in their deliverance from impossible situations, but they also developed my character far more effectively than instant deliverance would have. Instant deliverance communicates that God has power. Slow miracles not only demonstrate God’s power, but they mold and shape you into Christlikeness, teaching you dependency upon God over a long period time.

As an example, one of my “impossible” challenges was a long-term eating disorder (binge eating – like bulimia but without the purging). I developed this eating disorder when I was twelve years old, and it ruled my life well into my thirties. I was so addicted to food that when a medical professional told me I needed to lose some weight, I had a panic attack in his office because I simply could not live without binge eating. I binged on food almost every evening as I “stuffed down” all of the pain from my abusive childhood.

I tried to beat the disorder on my own, but it simply would not budge. As I dealt with my painful childhood in therapy, I developed some behavior modification strategies that helped a little, but I was still enslaved. I finally reached a place of crying out to God, telling Him that either He would have to heal this, or I would be its slave forever. I simply did not have the ability to remove this albatross from my neck.

God did not heal my eating disorder right away. I had to depend on Him one battle at a time. When I would feel the urge to binge eat (nightly for decades), I would delay eating by five minutes and spend those five minutes doing something positive instead. That stretched to 10 minutes … and then 15 … and then 20. I found that about half the time, I could avoid binge eating through prayer and meeting my emotional needs in another way. Over time, I gradually learned to turn to God for comfort instead of food. One day, I realized that I could not remember that last time I binged on food. This miracle was so slow that I did not even realize God was working.

To be continued…

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace lying on top of a huge pile of food scraps. Courtesy Bitmoji.]