Just. One. Thing.

1958090_775782669099044_186587614_n“Name one thing you love about your body.”

The counselor’s words left my friend staring back like a deer in headlights.

“Just one  thing. And let’s thank God,” the counselor repeated.

“I can’t really think of anything.”

“Just one. And thank Him.”

My wrists.  I really love my wrists. Thank you God, for my pretty wrists.”

My friend retold this experience with her counselor and chuckled.  And I chuckled back. Not because it was funny that she could not think of one thing better than her wrists, but we laughed because when you struggle with the Body Image Blues this is a really hard question.

Isn’t it?

I listened, but all the while pondered my own answer.  How would I have replied?

This counselor was on to something much bigger than body image here.

When we are thankful for what God has given us… for what God is doing in our lives… when we are expressive and aware of the 1,347,823 BLESSINGS that are truly from the hand of God, it is practically impossible to grumble.

Just. One. Thing.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Rejoice (chairō) to be glad

Always (pantote) at all times. Ever.

Be glad at all times…. in everything. For everything. Not sometimes.  Or once a day.  Or when life is going according to my  plans.

ALWAYS.

Give thanks in all circumstances.  Not in some circumstances. Or in the good circumstances.

Give thanks in your size smalls or in your XLs. Give thanks when your hormones are raging or when your hair is falling flat. Give thanks when the baby weight doesn’t want to budge. Give thanks for the good. And the bad.

This makes me think of The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.  Did you read this?  Remember when they were taken to the Ravensbruck concentration camp during WWII?  Corrie and her older sister, Betsy, found that their barracks were infested with lice. Lice! Oh Lord, help me.  But Betsy insisted they thank God for the lice, since we are encouraged to give thanks for all things – or as Paul says, “in all circumstances.” Corrie struggled, but agreed. The story goes on to tell how the sisters had an unusual freedom to read the Bible and pray in the barracks at night with the other inmates, in spite of the repressive practices of their Nazi guards. Corrie writes, ‘The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the word of God.’  Why were they given such freedom from the oppressive nature of the guards!?  The lice!  Their enemy was afraid of the lice. A BLESSING in disguise.

God wants to refine us, shape us and mold us more into the image of Jesus. I have found that the most oppressive, and “Lice-Like” obstacles in my life refine me the most. Hands down. Wrists down… whatever.   And over coming my Body Image Blues has been a long and honestly, on-going process, that God uses to grow my faith.

I encourage you to let God meet you in your dissatisfaction.  And as James says,”count it all joy, my [sisters], when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” (James 1:2-3)

Count it ALL  joy.  Rejoice!

Same derivative. Same idea.  REJOICE ALL…WAYS!

And look what happens! {you’re gonna like this…}

Let steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work so that you may be perfectly and fully developed [with no defects] lacking nothing. James 1:4 AMP

ALL trials. ALL obstacles. ANY test is a gift because it gives us the opportunity for patience to do a “thorough work so we can BE PERFECTLY DEVELOPED WITH NO DEFECTS” more into the image of Jesus. That is the body image I want.

This applies to ALL things… Marriage. Parenting. Relationships. Work. Church. You name it.

THIS is why we count it pure joy!!  Because if we let patience do its thing (snap snap) — If we can be thankful for the good the bad and the ugly, we can be perfectly developed in Christ Jesus.  Mmm. I want it.

If you really struggle with your body image today, I ask you the same question asked of my dear friend in the office of this Christian counselor:

Name one thing you love about yourself and thank God for it.”

And even more… Name one thing that you don’t love about yourself and thank God for that, too.

Rejoice always, in the lice or in the bulge, and count it pure joy — no matter what.  Because in both  God is developing us to lack nothing and be perfectly developed in Him.

Lord, today I thank you for ____________ about my body.  And Lord, even though I don’t love it, I thank you for ____________, too.  Lord use all things to perfectly develop my heart and character so I can be perfectly developed with no defects, lacking NOTHING in You.  Mold me more into Your image today.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

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