A new year means new beginnings, and in that spirit I've started the Whole30 program. No longer can I enjoy the yumminess of dairy, sugar, and grains (read: no ice cream, cheese, or bread). This may sound sad, but discovering new recipes with vegetables I had rarely or never eaten has proven fun, tasty, and empowering. I mean, I can have a steak and potato on this diet!
Designed to help people discover their food addictions and bad food habits, Whole30 is a kickstart, a one-month fast from certain comfort foods. Two weeks into this 30-day experiment, I've lost weight, sleep better, no longer need coffee every morning (though I do miss it), and generally feel great. Exercising a little discipline in this realm of life is paying off in other areas, and I'm excited to see what comes next. My new year is off to a great start!
On the flip side, the last few weeks have brought distressing news from several people very close to me. Chapters are closing, hearts are hurting, futures are uncertain. I cannot fix any of it, which frustrates me some days—I dislike feeling helpless.
My loved ones are not alone, however, in their struggles: the great actor Alan Rickman passed away last night. Tributes have been pouring in across the globe, saturating social media and news outlets. A few hours after that news broke, we learned that Celine Dion's husband, René Angélil, passed away. A few days earlier, iconic rock artist David Bowie died. All of these men had been battling cancer for a year or more. In other news, ISIS terrorists attacked in Jakarta yesterday and Istanbul a few days earlier. Tourists, shoppers, businesspeople, retail workers—unsuspecting people died due to the evil played out by jihadists seeking their twisted vision of glory.
The world is a mess. We struggle, we fear, we mourn, we cry out. And if we do all that without God, the maker of our world, we may easily lose hope. But God is waiting to hear from us. He wants us to cry out to him when trouble comes. Why? Because he is the author of life, our source of hope. And he offers it to us.
In John 16:33 Jesus says, "In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."