Not that it’s a tasty temptation, but have you ever felt as if you could eat concrete? Okay—this is where I’m coming from: what kind of eater are you? Authorities tell us that the reason some of us constantly fight an extra 10-20 pounds is that we are emotional eaters. Some of us eat when we’re sad (or happy); others eat when we’re hungry (or not hungry); some eat when we’re angry (or at peace); some eat when we just see food (or if we have to go looking for it). I consider myself an “equal opportunities eater”; I eat for ALL the above reasons. Understand? I’ve always known that I can be an emotional eater—to a certain extent; it’s never been a huge deal with me. Even those times that I might splurge in the eating department, it was always in the back of my mind that I would have to fast for a day or two afterward to make up for the splurge.
However, I had an experience recently in which I saw myself in a totally different light. It had been a very stressful few weeks around our house; Earl and I had both had things going on that were driving us both a little bonkers. Then one Friday morning when Earl didn’t have to go to the office, it all came to a head, and we knew that we had to spend a few hours away from each other. We weren’t angry at each other—just tired of the stress and frustration. So he took off for one of his famous (infamous?) “ride-abouts.” And I headed for the grocery store (Just a word to the wise—don’t go to the grocery store when you’re really stressed). But I had a group of women coming to the house the next day for a work-retreat, and I needed to buy food for that. Hence, the trip to the store!
I’ve been stressed before in my life (more than once!), but this was the grandmother of them all! I was so stressed that I was jittery, and by the time I got into the store, I truly felt as if I could chew a chunk of concrete!! I just needed to eat—not fruit or the good stuff; I wanted JUNK!! Unfortunately (Fortunately ?), I had to go down the cookie aisle, and that’s when I saw it: that beautiful, round can from Pepperidge Farm. Have you ever eaten their Crème Filled Pirouette Rolled Wafers with chocolate hazelnut?!! Oh—my—goodness! So decadent! I buy them maybe twice a year because: (a) they’re pure sugar (b) they’re so expensive. But I couldn’t help myself; after all, I had women coming to my house the next day, and we would need a little something sweet, wouldn’t we? That beautiful, round can just hopped right into my basket, and it was truly all I could do not to rip the top off and shove two or three of those cute, little pirouettes into my mouth! (I know you’ve never felt like that!) My next sin came on the ice cream aisle. My husband is diabetic, so we rarely splurge on ice cream, but we had had such a rough couple of weeks that we really deserved a treat, didn’t we? After all, he could be careful in other areas of his diet for a few days to make up for the ice cream; so I bought each of us a pint of our favorite Blue Bell—Moollenium for him and Cookies and Cream for me.
As I raced to the front of the store to check out, thoughts of what to have for lunch were zipping through my mind. Earl wouldn’t be home for lunch as he usually is, so I would be eating alone. Aha! Hamburger and French fries. I could practically hear them calling my name! Back in the car and headed for home with a slight detour to visit my favorite hamburger joint, I was almost salivating! And the strangest thing happened: the minute that big, pointed, orange and white striped roof of my favorite hamburger place came into view, I could actually feel myself calm down just a bit. That’s when I started to realize how I was behaving and to feel a little ashamed of myself---but not ashamed enough to change my plans. I got my order, nibbled on the fries all the way home, and when I got there, I immediately began eating. Oh, my goodness—it tasted SO good! Then, to top off the entrée, I scarfed down the entire pint of ice cream that I had bought for myself. Wow!
Later in the day as I thought about my morning’s misadventures, it hit me: when (if ever) had I been that hungry for God? I think that question came to me because I had just gotten the book Just Give Me Jesus by Anne Graham Lotz and was convicted that I have too much “stuff,” too much activity in my life and not nearly enough Jesus. As I have “matured” (in age), I have noticed that I desire more than ever to know God better so that others can see something in me that would point them to Him. But have I ever been as hungry for God as I was for food that morning? Hmm. I don’t think so. Shame on me!
Matthew 5:6—(part of the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus was teaching His disciples)—Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.
Luke 6:21a—(part of the Beatitudes when Jesus was teaching His disciples)—Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied.