Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Cravings that Satisfy

I used to worry about getting my son to eat healthy when he was just starting to eat table food. He seemed to eat very small amounts and ate only strawberries and cheese. My mom would tell me not to worry about it. “They will eat when they are hungry and their body will crave the foods they need.” Wisdom she had gathered from a pediatrician when I was young.

Apparently this is true with pregnant women too. While on nearly six months of bed rest I watched America’s Health Network…uhm… a lot. One OB/GYN was talking about why pregnant women have strange cravings and even eat very unusual things like dirt. Amazingly, God has designed our bodies to know what it needs even if our mind hasn’t learned this information. Did you know dirt has nutritional value for people? Makes sense, I guess, veggies are healthy, right?

I don’t fully understand what makes a pregnant woman eat dirt. Maybe she fell over and couldn’t get up and discovered dirt didn’t taste so bad. I’m guessing she also took a nap while she was down there. Anyway, the term for the behavior of eating dirt is called soil pica. It’s interesting research but I’ll leave the details for your own internet surfing enjoyment.

Lisa Bevere in Discover Your Inner Beauty was concerned about a different type of hunger for her children.

One morning as I prayed for my family, I asked God to increase my children’s hunger for Him. Deep in my spirit I heard His response, “If your children are not hungry, it is because they are already full….” To develop this spiritual hunger I will need to fast all that is not of God that tries to fill me. (Lisa Bevere, Discover Your Inner Beauty, 70)

Ouch! Did that quote hit you like it hit me? Why don’t I let my kids fill up on sweets and junk food (or dirt) before dinner? Of course, I want them to be hungry for the healthier (hopefully, tastier) food.

The same applies to my desire to hunger for God. If I want to be hungry for the things God wants to put in me, then I need to stay away from the junk. What an awesome concept, don’t you think? Why satisfy my hunger with potato chips and candy bars when God has a banquet prepared for me. I’d say his appetizer is more like strawberries with a chocolate fountain. But don’t go overboard in the fountain. Just wait ‘til you see the entrĂ©e. It is a display like nothing you’ve ever seen – even on a cruise ship. The aroma makes your taste buds stand up and begin dripping with desire before each tantalizing bite reaches your lips.

I’ve found this to be true. When I approach my quiet time with God out of a hunger for him, it is a satisfying meal like none other. When I approach him because it’s time to sit down to be with him, well, it’s not all that exciting. My mind wanders to what I’m going to do when I’m done. Just like my kids do at our supper table some days.

So maybe the key to being hungry for God isn’t forcing yourself to stomach scripture that you don’t understand or attempting to pray in a way that puts you to sleep. Maybe the key is as Bevere suggests - fasting from the things that are not of God. If you want to eat healthy meals, don’t have a bag of candy sitting at your desk all day. If you want to taste the richness of relationship with God, don’t settle for relationships that are negative and exhausting or virtual relationships like the internet or TV. Allow yourself to be lonely, hungry for something more so that your soul will cry out craving what it needs to be truly satisfied.

Honey seems tasteless to a person who is full, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry. Proverbs 27:7

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is so completely true!! Why is it that we allow just anything to satisfy our God hunger? As a busy mom I rationalize that I am too busy to have the long quiet times I once enjoyed before children. But, then, I find myself hungering for something and trying to put other things in that hole. You would think I would learn my lesson but I fall into this trap from time to time. There is simply nothing like that rich relationship with God. And when we take time for it nothing else can satisfy our hunger even close to the way He can. Thanks for a great post!!

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
Email for reprint permission