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Health Devotional


Screams in the Pillow

Thursday, January 27, 2022
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And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man. Judges 3:17.

My brothers and I grew up working hard and eating well. We didn’t eat between meals, and only occasionally had desserts, but when we ate, we ate plenty. Because of all the outdoor work and play, the amount of food we consumed was not a problem until just before I started eighth grade.

My left hip began to bother me. The doctors said I had two choices: become crippled, or undergo major surgery and use crutches for a year. I knew that meant no more ball games, skiing, or mountain climbing.

The year dragged by. Summer came, and finally I was free. I didn’t tell anyone for a long time that my right leg was beginning to hurt, but by the end of the summer Mom had noticed. That meant more doctor’s visits, more X-rays, another surgery, and more months on crutches.

On top of that, I was getting fat—maybe not as fat as King Eglon, but far more than chubby! I had friends, but who wanted to date a fat boy on crutches? Many nights I screamed into my pillow in frustration and hurt. I know how it feels to smile at the fat jokes while your heart is breaking. I know what it is like to hold back the tears until you are alone in your room. I know how hard it is to diet and diet and diet without seeing any change.

Months went by. Spring came again, and I abandoned the crutches for good. My exercise increased, and my diets continued until another year had passed. By then I was tall and thin. Today people can’t imagine me as a short fat boy, but I remember! And it still hurts when I hear someone laughing and joking about weight.

During those two terribly difficult years I learned that God still held me close. Even while I beat on His chest and screamed in His ear, He never let me go. Sometimes I accused Him of abandoning me, but through it all He loved a little fat boy that everyone else wanted to avoid.

What support can you offer someone who is suffering from obesity? And if you are the one who is overweight, have you learned that God still loves you and will help you even if others say things that hurt?

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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