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Here’s a excerpt from Grace and Weight, the new book I’m writing. Even if you don’t struggle with excess pounds, I believe you’ll find it relevant.

Stress Eating

Let him have all your worries and cares,
for he is always thinking about you
and watching everything that concerns you.

1 Peter 5:7 TLB

Someone has said a picture is worth a thousand words. Drawing isn’t a gift I possess, so picture this caricature in your mind: A wild-eyed woman is clutching a big bag of potato chips in one hand and stuffing a fistful in her mouth with her other hand. The caption reads: “I’m not stressed!”

Stress may not cause us to look wild-eyed, but it is likely to cause us to consume food without thinking. We can call it “just nibbling,” but let’s face it, we’re likely to nibble more than we realize. We’re horrified when we finally have the courage to get on the scale, but we deserve those pounds we’ve put on.

[Don’t I wish I only weighed 118 pounds!]

Now picture one of those graphs that have become so familiar during the pandemic. This one represents the weight gained each week from a cross-section of women who tend to be overweight. I have no doubt the curve would be trending up and not flattening.

The past months of lockdowns, mask-wearing, and social distancing have been stressful. For some it’s been a life-altering time with the loss of employment. And tragically, for others the pandemic has caused the loss of loved ones.

We hope and pray that a vaccine will soon be available that will put an end to the coronavirus, but invariably we’ll encounter another crisis. None of us are immune. Jesus sought to prepare His disciples, and to prepare us, for hard times. He said, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows; but cheer up, for I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 TLB).

Christians are not promised that life will be easy, but Jesus has promised, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 TLB). I don’t think it’s stretching the truth of this Scripture to add, “So don’t use food to try and ease your stress.”

What does Jesus want us to do when we’re confronted with a stressful situation? And let’s be realistic. More often than not it won’t be just one situation that is causing us to stress. What can we, should we, do? Instead of reaching for comfort food, let’s reach for Him. After all, “He knows what it is like when we suffer and are tempted, and he is wonderfully able to help us” (Hebrews 2:18 TLB).

Thank You for Your promises, Lord. When life overwhelms me, help me to turn to You and to Your Word rather than to food.

If you need to lose weight, I hope you’ll visit my new Facebook page, Grace and Weight. And please pray I can finish this book and lose the excess pounds that are not helping my knees.

Reminder: The special price of 37% off MP3s of the 2019 Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference is good through July 31. Go to https://philadelphia.writehisanswer.com.

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