Tuesday, May 25, 2010
As I sat waiting for my husband to grab our food from the fast food counter my stomach grumbled.
I am always hungry.
Even as he set the food before me, I wondered how fast it would take for it to digest and be hungry again.
The thought frustrated me.
I have wondered how I got to this place of constant hunger, and always wishing for something more... something better.
It hasn't been like this my whole life.
I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted. When I wanted.
Good or bad.... it wasn't this constant thought or concern.
It wasn't life or death.
It was just food. And it was good.
Life was good.
Or so I thought.
I found out that I am allergic to virtually everything.
Okay.... maybe not everything. But it feels like it most days.
The reason for so many nagging ailments throughout my life.
Things I just lived with when I didn't know what was causing them.
Ignorance is bliss.
Because now I know.
And because I know, I can't go back.
Now that I have taken them away, my body doesn't like when I try to bring them back.
When I have gone out with others, they often ask, "What do you feel like?"
Hmmmm..... what I feel like is not what I can have.
What I think I want is not necessarily what I can take.
It is frustrating.
It is disconcerting.
And I have hated this season of my life so so much.
"Why God?.... Why?"
I have voiced it and thought it so many times.
So many times.
The restrictions. The not being able to really enjoy my food.
I love food.
I am Italian and Mexican, and I love to bake.... come on! Who wouldn't love it?
And to not eat 90% of the food that I grew up loving has been devastating.
More than anyone knows.
I have cried tears over it.
I feel dumb stating that.
But it's the truth.
I hate being told I can't do something.
But in that moment... in that restaurant, one of the few places I can eat anything at.... and as my husband and I tried to steal away for just a moment of time...
It came to me.
These words... and then these thoughts.....
I know what it is like to feel this.
I know how it feels to want.
I know what it feels like to be so annoyed that I can't partake with everyone else that cupcake that I had the joy of baking.
Or sit in a restaurant and labor over what to order... what to have... and what I might be able to actually enjoy eating and sticking in my mouth.
And I realize that this is all so much more than that.
Like so much else in my life.
Like everything else in my life.
This season is serving a purpose.
And I didn't realize it until that moment.
I have missed it this whole time.
In my moaning, complaining, and resenting.
In my hating when anyone comments on how much weight I've lost... or the gaunt look on my face.
When I have actually wished for plumper days.
The days when my face looked a little more filled out.
When I "looked" healthier.... when I wasn't always hungry.
When I didn't "want".
When I was sick and didn't know it. Not really.
I was just limping along and just making allowances for all of my handicaps.
They were just there. And I just made do.
I've actually thought at moments that I was much better off then.
I am smiling at the significance of that statement.
Have you caught it yet?
The stark reality of what all this implies? What it really and truly means?
Being in need but not knowing it? Being in a state of unhealthy but not realizing your sick?
We are made to be hungry. And we are not "well" on our own.
We are made to want. To need God's healing touch in every and all areas of our lives.
And so often we mistake our need, trying to fill them with things that can't actually fill us... heal us.
Nothing can satisfy, fill, or heal like the love of God for us.
Nothing can fill and satisfy like His presence and spirit when we stop everything and make the time to sit at His feet.
And nothing.... absolutely nothing can nourish, heal, and bring the breath of life into us like the Word of God.
Not the sweet words of a poem.
Not the meaningful words of our favorite songs.
Not the impactful words of a friend.
Or even, dare I say it, the words from the pulpit.
All those things can be good.
Some of them even better than that.... when coming from a heart seeking after God.
But they are not God.
They are not His Word.
And if we don't get in the habit of checking them. Lining them up, and measuring them against His standard, His Word.... we run the risk of danger.
And we will miss the reality of our situations and His answers to them.
Our view runs the risk of becoming distorted and hazy.
We end up unclear and unsure.
Sick and unaware of the true state that we are in.
Making "allowances" and hopping along on our crutches when the healing that we need is well within our reach.
What I have realized is that though God's Word is meant to feed us and replenish... it is not just for the occasional sitting here and there.... only for the moments when we are really starving and needy.
It is for every moment, every need, and every situation in our lives.
His Word, when we allow it to, should cause us to want more.
More of a hunger for Him.
For His truth.
His providing of every good thing that we could ever hope or want.
When we are truly feasting on what God has for us. When we take the time to settle into our seats, place our napkins on our laps, and pick up the tools He's given us to receive all that He has prepared....
We will never leave wanting.
We may leave hungry for more of Him. But never for more than He provides.
Because what He provides is far better.
Far more than we think we need.
He knows our hunger.
He understands our thirst.
And He sympathizes with our weaknesses.
As I sit and reflect on all of this it has struck me....
I prayed for this.
I asked Him a few years ago to make me more hungry for Him.
I asked to be hungry....
You might think it's a little crazy for me to think that God's answer is to allow me to be physically hungry all the time.
But is it?
Is it really that crazy?
Is God not a practical God?
Does He not interact with us on a very personal and practical way?
He knows who we are remember?
He knows how we work, how we think, and how we function.
And He will use and work with us the best and most available ways that we allow Him to.
Causing me to be hungry, to get to this point of desperation and disappointment in my life when I am in constant communication with Him on it.... constantly needing Him in the midst of my frustration.
Crying out and wanting.....
Well..... it doesn't seem so crazy to me.
He has been faithful.
To answer a prayer that I prayed.... that I wanted Him to answer.
Just because it doesn't seem ideal to me....
It is tangible.
And I am starting to truly understand what it means to hunger after Him.
To want Him more than I want anything else in my life.
I am now able to draw a correlation from deep physical hunger to deep spiritual need.
I don't like being hungry for food, and feeling deprived and burdened by it....
But I am seeing the danger of not being hungry for Him and for His Word.
And the danger of what can happen in my life if I allow myself to be satisfied with anything but Him.
I want to stay hungry for Him.
For all the days of my life.
Always wanting more.... more of Him and all that He wants to give.
Because with Him, there is always more.
I pray that you will be hungry....
And that you will let Him fill you the way that only He can.
.... until another tomorrow.
"I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:12,13
"But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ," Philippians 3:7,8