Once upon a time…
I ate because it was fun. And then fun turned into something else.
What does your relationship with food look like? Food. Sustenance and succulent – we all need it and we all want it…some of us more than others. But when the cinnamon rolls replace the Bread of life on the altar of one’s own heart, the hands that once held grace, now knead the dough of lust (yes, lust), working it and pounding it and molding the lump into the shape of a pretend cross.
Yes, food is a blessing from the Creator of it, and as it nourishes the hungry hearts in the spirit of unity, this breaking of bread around a table of thanks is a beautiful thing.
I remember…it was a snowy day – December 24, and I was about seven years old. The anticipation of Christmas Eve festivities tormented me, so I sought distraction by spending the afternoon rolling around in the powdery, white bliss that blanketed my backyard. When late afternoon turned into evening, I shuffled my snowsuit covered self into the house where family gathered.
Ahhh…everything smelled so wonderful.
And the love – the assemblage of my people. I’ll never forget the ambrosial aromas that filled the atmosphere of my childhood home that evening. But the fellowship of family was what really lent itself to the coziness of that memorable night so long ago.
Over the years there were many nights like this…so many of my cherished memories involve good food and the felicity of family and friends. But somewhere along the way my relationship to food changed. Somewhere, somehow, an ungrateful heart filled my soul and body with a discontentment that bordered on akrasia.
Unholy eating. We should forsake it.
But I didn’t forsake it. No, the lust that filled my heart in rebellion to the manna God had given…it drew me further away from from the natural use of food and I spent many years self- medicating with pizza. (Yeah, I was that cool.)
So whenever my world would turn upside down, I would shove an ooey-gooey brownie in my mouth and hope for the best. My heart was hurting and food was my nepenthe to numb the pain. And the more I did this, the more blind I became to the idolatry that I practiced in the name of a good meal.
One of the definitions of idolatry is “Excessive attachment or veneration for any thing, or that which borders on adoration.” God should be adored, not food; I should be excessively attached to Jesus, not to food. Hello???
The road to unthankfulness leads to despair and fear and nothingness. Sure does. And that was the road that I was on. Day after day, I would thank God with my mouth, but my heart…it was thankless and unsatisfied.
I should have been satisfied and I should have been able to say, “This is good, and it is enough.” But I left off thanking and took up lusting. And as my butt grew bigger, my faith grew smaller, because God refuses to compete with my idols. And so my days as the poster girl for chubby bubbies continued.
Eden moments…they speak to me. You?
A hungry heart (and stomach) can glean a plethora of valuable lessons from Adam and Eve. That hankering for more than what God has already given is ingrained in us, you know? And I just roll my eyes when I hear women say things like, “When I get to heaven I’m gonna punch Eve right in the face!”
As if we all wouldn’t have made the same bad decision. Me?…I am Eve.
I’m surrounded by Love and I have more than enough, but I listen to the voice of the snake, and all of the ungratefulness that’s been lying dormant in my heart, arises from the not so dead places, and as it does, I yield.
One bite. As that forbidden fruit slides across the top of my tongue, my taste buds awaken and I only want more. And more. And more. Satan is pumped…his mission is accomplished.
Gluttony, and the lust that goes along with it, shamelessly seduces a girl into thinking that pizza fits into the Jesus-shaped hole of the heart. And so she crams it in there real good, and like a fat foot in a pump that’s too small…it just doesn’t fit. But she pretends that it does.
I pretended that it fit, and I made believe that it made me feel better, but it was only a harbinger of bad health and of an undeveloped relationship with God. And so it was for quite a while.
I love it how Jesus speaks at just the right time. When that happens, conviction jumps on me like Tiny Tim on a christmas goose!
And you see, He knows when we are ready to receive it – that conviction…and it’s a gift. We should embrace it, thank God for it, and respond to it with an open contriteness. Godly sorrow works repentance, y’all.
And let me tell you…deliverance has never tasted so good.
“Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it”, He says to me, and I do so willingly. And as I do He fills me up with spiritual food that heals, and “He satisfies my mouth with good things and my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103)
Now, the hands hold the daily bread with thanks, and the heart holds the Bread of life… and full cups run over. And as gladness follows a thankful heart, each bite that we put to our lips must be followed by the putting on of Christ.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to Me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
Let’s put into practice these three things, okay?…
- Be grateful. Don’t lust for more.
- Put your faith in God and His provision, will, and way for you to eat, and trust in Him for the grace to be satisfied.
- Proceed in the strength and power of God, to eat in moderation with a thankful heart. And remember to not only thank Him before you eat, but afterward too.
So today I raise the cup to God’s love and I offer my all to Him. I endeavor to embrace His love and let it fill me up in ways that nothing else can…and be fully satisfied in Him. Will you join me at the table and be…finally satisfied?