Food has always been very important to me. Not just because it tastes good (it does) but because it is significant. Great moments in my life have always been shared around a meal. This year, God has been doing something new for me regarding food and how I interact with it within my life.
In January, I participated in a 21-day fast with my church. It wasn’t just about food, it was to remove whatever you deem a distraction from in the way of your relationship with God. It was a truly humbling experience that opened my mind to further interaction with the Holy Spirit. No food, no water from midnight to 6pm was challenging but it smoothed a lot of my metaphorical edges. The denying of self to create space to interact with the Father was really eye-opening. It also made me reflect on my interactions with God.
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”Matthew 4:4 (NKJV)
Every time I got hungry, I had to depend on God to bring me past that point. Every time I became irritable, I had to hold on to God’s goodness and continue to be a reflection of Him instead of what I was in that moment. Each day that I spent fasting, taught me not to be swayed by my emotions, feelings, and body, but to focus on the Lord. The 21 days were hard, but when I got to the end, I felt different.
I didn’t crave the same things that I did before. I didn’t go back to secular music. I was mindful of the movies and shows I watched. I held back on social interactions that I wasn’t strong enough to be in. I started to routinely spend time with God. I talked with Him. I read my Bible more. I listened to more gospel. I spent time with Him and my life changed. I couldn’t even go back to the same foods. I cut my portion sizes, lost 20lbs, and felt healthier for it. Around the same time, I walked out on a promise that God had for me.
God is not a man, that He should lie,Numbers 23:19 (NKJV)
Nor a son of man, that He should repent.
Has He said, and will He not do?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?
On April 1, 2018, on Resurrection Sunday, I was called into the front of the church and delivered from my Seafood allergy. Without going too heavily into it, my allergy was attached to a lie that I broke agreement with that day. The experience was new to me. I’ve never seen deliverance before. I definitely cannot recall experiencing it personally before. I had to believe in what God said was true. I said I believed it, but it wasn’t until a little less than a year later that I decided to put that belief into action.
Last month, I was sitting next to a friend at a restaurant after church. She was eating salmon. I took that opportunity and tried a tiny bit. I tingled a bit but no reaction. A couple weeks later I tried some fried calamari and a piece of shrimp. No problems at all. A couple weeks after that, I tried an oyster for the first time. I was blown away! For the first time in my life, I ate seafood without breaking out into hives or my mouth and throat swelling up. I praised the Lord!
At the end of March, I came across Acts 10.
About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance.
He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds.
Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.Acts 10:9-16 (NIV)
All of a sudden, I understood the freedom that God had given me. I even went out of my way and tried Pork for the first time in 15 years. I used to get horrible tension headaches from Pork. This time, no problems at all. God wanted to show me that nothing was unclean if it was from God. I saw the food, but then I read further into Acts.
Then he said to them, “You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.Acts 10:28 (NKJV)
This resonated with greatly with me. Peter proceeded to go into detail about God using Israel as His chosen ones to reach the rest of the world. If I looked at my deliverance from food allergies as just the food or something for me, I would be missing the most important part. God’s miracles and works in your life are not just for you, but for others in the world. Peter’s vision opened him up to speaking and saving a whole group of Gentiles. Peter moving beyond his preconceptions to what God designed brought the Gospel to those that would never hear. It changed lives.
Since then, I’ve started to think deeper. My blessings are supposed to be vehicles and windows to God’s goodness in my life. I had to remind myself of that as I re-conceptualized my blessing. I didn’t truly care about eating seafood and pork. I cared about the missed opportunities of community building and relationship development. I want to break bread with more people. When I go to new places, I don’t want to be held back by dietary restrictions. I want to eat, interact, and grow with others in the world. Each interaction I have gives me more opportunities to share God’s light.
It’s not about food. It’s about life and the moments that stick with us. Sharing life with others is a blessing and God knows I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
What blessings are you asking God for? In what ways can those blessings be used to give God glory? Let me know in the comments below.
Turn Your Brightness Up!