For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully & wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful. I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Your eyes say my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16
This passage was one that I had to repeat to myself out loud daily for a Bible Study I was teaching. I was surprised that, after years of struggling with low self-esteem and feeling that those wounds were healed, these verses were so hard to say out loud! It was hard to praise God that I am “fearfully and wonderfully made” when I do not really like my body. Part of this has been poor eating choices, but part is a physical condition where my pancreas sometimes does not produce the enzyme that dissolves fat. As a result, I may eat less food and more healthy food than many people who look smaller than I am, but my appearance does not reflect my correct food choices, and neither does my cholesterol! In a society that values a thin appearance that is often achieved with unhealthy lifestyles and cosmetic surgery, it is such a struggle for anyone to be satisfied with their appearance. To recognize that God intentionally made us different and unique in our appearance is often hard to accept. Some people find it much easier to stay slim. Some people have smaller bones. Some are curvier than others. I often find it ironic that the slimmer ones wish they were curvier and the curvier ones wish they were slimmer! Only when our self-esteem is centered in God’s love and acceptance of each of us as individuals, can we truly be happy with how God has made us! Does this mean that we should not make healthy eating and exercise choices? Absolutely not! Read I Cor. 6:19-20. Our bodies are the temple of God and we need to treat them as such, but it DOES mean that we need to thank God for how He made each of us.