Day 163: Just Food

I was recently having coffee with my friend Alice and we were talking covenant stuff. She mentioned that one of her struggles was that she felt the need to be strong enough to resist on her own. She said with a sarcastic note to her voice, it’s “just food”. She felt that she should be able to deal with “just food”.

And I have been really thinking on that a lot since then.

Cause really… she’s right. We so often feel a little extra dose of extra guilt because we can’t resist this stuff that is “just food”.

But as I have thought about it, a few thoughts have come to mind about “just food”…

Satan used food as the first form of temptation in the Garden.

Jesus performed his first miracle changing water to wine.

Christ compared his own body to bread and wine at the last supper.

It’s not “just food”.

And honestly, I thought and thought about WHY it’s not “just food”… WHY does it have more of a power than other things in our life?

And I’m thinking that it ties, in a weird sort of way, to our level of faith. Satan knew that Adam and Eve were provided every piece of vegetation in the garden except those apples (or whatever they were) from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. And I think he played off of a small, tiny fear that has glowed in our hearts for all of time… the thought – the fear -  that we might not have enough. Not necessarily that we haven’t gotten to experience everything, but that deep down we fear that we might come across a time of… want. need. starvation.

And now I live in a time where most people in America live in a situation where there IS abundance like in the Garden. there IS enough for all of us. there IS plenty.

But we still have these images from the Holocaust. I can still remember stories of the Irish Potato Famine and the mass exodus that ensued. We see pictures pouring in from Africa, India, Asia, Russia of men, women, and children bare boned and sallow eyed.

And although we might grab another brownie it’s not typically because we are consciously thinking, “Oh, man, I’d better stock up on brownies tonight because we might all be starving tomorrow!” But in the ever increasing state of unrest in the world, it is more than likely in the back of our thoughts.

So, I wonder if much of this addiction and pull to “just food” is in response to our fear… and our subsequent need to control that fear.

But God has instructed us that food is now to become… insignificant. a non-issue.

I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?

Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.

And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matthew 6:25-33

And He gives us a promise here… that if we run toward Him that He will give us everything we need. He doesn’t promise that we won’t starve, He doesn’t promise that we won’t be hungry, He doesn’t promise that we will even live. But He does promise to give us everything we need. And once we start to learn to trust that He will take care of us… then we can free ourselves from stressing over “just food” and then it can truly become exactly that… just. food.

Day Thirty: Holy Hunger

I’ve really thought a lot about not eating too much. about using restraint. about thinking small.

But I was reminded yesterday of the opposite of that thinking.

Like I’ve said before, God specifically designed my body with a hunger mechanism that tells me when I am hungry and when I am not. When I am not hungry, I really shouldn’t eat. But the same thing goes for the other side of that… when I am hungry, I need to eat.

Because otherwise when the hunger sensation turns to a starving sensation… my mind switches into a different approach to food. And this built in approach actually makes a lot of sense.  When I get to the point where I am starving and I am presented with food, I typically eat more than needed. It’s almost as if the most base aspect of my being is thinking: If you are starving now then you might be starving later. Eat as much as you can while you can. But I don’t have a life where starving is a part of my existence. I don’t need to “store up” food for later.

What I need to do is eat when I’m hungry. Eat enough but not too much.

Lest…… when I do stop to eat I end up eating the last four cookie-granola bars that are left… like I did yesterday. And eating the last four cookie-granola bars my friends savors a bit like… gluttony.

And gluttony is no longer welcome in my life.

So I must do whatever it takes to keep gluttony out.

And one of the ways to do that is for me to eat when I’m hungry and not allow myself to get to the point where I am starving. I know that this is a very basic and simple “healthy eating” concept, but I also know that I am having to relearn (or even quite possibly, learn for the first time) a lot of those basic and simple “healthy eating” concepts.

So today, my prayer is this…

God,
Thank you so much for bringing me to this point. Day thirty… awesome! I still need your guidance, your healing, your help, your power. This addiction is strong God. But not as strong as You. Please, send me your Holy Spirit… and make me willing to obey. God, I live in such abundance, and I have not learned what to do with such abundance. I do not know how to handle it. God, give me just enough to satisfy my needs. Teach me restraint through this experience so that it will pour over into all the other aspects of my life. Teach me to be Holy because you are Holy.
In the Name of Jesus Christ,
Amen