In today’s passage, Jesus is sending his disciples out to preach in the local towns, and He tells them not to take any money, because they were to accept whatever people gave them. In fact, He repeats it twice, “eat whatever they give you”. I wonder why He needed to repeat that? It reminds me of my mother, when I was a child. She used to say, “eat what you’re given!”
Perhaps your response to Jesus would be, “I wish I could!” Many of us have difficulty with intolerance to various foods, which can cause digestive problems, pain and other trouble. Difficulty with eating certain foods is an uncomfortable problem that more and more people are experiencing.
I used to be able to eat anything, until I realised that the headaches I was experiencing were actually migraines. When I cut out caffeine, they improved. However, to make them go completely I also had to cut out chocolate, oranges, lemons, orange juice, bacon, cream, alcohol and some cheese.
Eating outside of home became more difficult for me, as people very often include these items, especially chocolate, in what they offer guests. Still, I persevered for a number of years, because eating any of these would almost always bring on a headache the next day.
Then, during one very stressful period in my life, I started to get migraines almost daily, despite trying to be really good with my diet. At the same time, I read today’s verses and became convinced that if Jesus told his disciples to eat whatever was put in front of them, then surely He would help me to do that.
I prayed and asked the Lord to heal me. I said, "Lord Jesus, if there is a root cause behind these migraines, would you please show me what that root cause is." Not long after that, I read that the most common cause of migraine is internal conflict. Not conflict between me and someone else, but conflict within myself.
An example of internal conflict would be feeling guilty about something you did, knowing you should apologise, but being reluctant to do so. Another example is being double-minded, where one part of you wants one thing, and another part of you wants something else. Another example is when you have suppressed an emotion, and you are trying to ignore the emotion you are feeling, maybe because it’s an inconvenient emotion at this time, or you don’t think you ought to feel as you do. There are plenty of examples of internal conflict.
Anyway, I read that migraines are caused by internal conflict, and that certainly made sense to me at the time. I had some huge internal conflict going on, which explained the daily migraines. It wasn’t easy to admit this and bring the issues into the light, discuss them with the people concerned and resolve them. But doing that made a massive difference. I stopped having daily migraines.
Over time, I’ve learned to recognise internal conflict, and to bring the issues into the light, to share them with people who can listen and help. As I’ve done this, the migraines have gone away and I can now eat chocolate and those other things without getting migraines. If I go out for a meal, I no longer have to ask my host or hostess to avoid any ingredients.
It`s not just migraines. On a Flagship course at Ellel Grange, I prayed with one lady who had gluten intolerance. The root issue in her case went back to experiences in the womb. After that one hour of prayer, her digestive trouble disappeared and she was able to eat anything she wanted for the rest of the 9 week Flagship course.
I share these stories because I do believe that Jesus is willing and able to heal those of us with dietary restrictions, so that we can indeed eat whatever is given to us. The root cause may be different for different people, but we worship a saviour who knows all things and can even open doors that have been locked for generations.
Even if you’ve prayed many times before, why not pray again, with faith, knowing that Jesus wants you to be able to eat anything. Ask Him what’s at the root of your problem. Don’t assume you already know. Perhaps there are several roots. Take notice of whatever He brings to mind, especially emotional issues from the past. Pour out your deepest feelings to Him, being as real and honest as you can be.
Ask others to come alongside you in prayer. Confess to a trusted person anything sinful you have done that the Holy Spirit brings to mind (James 5:16). Forgive and release those who have hurt you. Consider an Ellel course or other ministry input. These are all ways the Lord has used to heal people, so they are a great place to start. Press in with faith and trust in Jesus the healer. He can do anything if we trust Him and listen to Him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You told Your disciples to eat whatever they were given. I’m one of Your disciples and I’d like to be able to eat whatever’s put before me. Please would You reveal to me what’s at the root of my problem, and help me to be patient and to give You time to respond. Please help me to recognise Your answer. Thank You, Amen.
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