"I DON'T WANT THAT!!!", screams the 3 year old, as he's walking away from me to go pout at the table. I guess he chose the table in hopes that I would change my mind and give him what he wanted. He was hungry. It was after 3 in the afternoon and he went down for a nap without lunch. He woke up in a mood and wanted to eat, so I pulled out the leftovers from the fridge and popped them in the microwave. Meatballs, roast, and carrots, that only yesterday he had scarfed down and raved about how good it was. So, naturally I made the mom mistake of thinking he would want to eat it again. I'm committed though. I know he hasn't had anything to eat of real nutritional value, so I have to overrule his desire for junk, with my knowledge of what is best for him.
I tried everything to get him to eat. I ate a few bites myself, I threatened, pleaded... nothing worked. We were having a standoff. I wasn't giving in and neither was he. My father inlaw was watching this whole thing and decided to apply his favorite saying to the situation... "Well, hun, an old man once told me... if you leave it there long enough they will eat." He starts out all his profound thoughts with "Well, an old man once told me..." I'm not sure who the old man was, but he had a lot to say about everything and often he was right.
I left the room for a minute and when I came back the little squirt was walking into the kitchen carrying his bowl of leftovers to the table, where I guess he had decided to eat "BY MYSELF". Fine with me. All I want you do is eat. He ate up all that bowl and wanted another. He decided this food was awesome and afterward was again his charming little self.
As usual it's in that little situation that the Lord decides to use my stubborn 3 yr old to teach me something about myself. I hunger for the things of this world. I want ___________. It really doesn't matter what you put in that blank. I just want. My Father knows what I need, but I am stubborn, I keep going after the things that I want, but do not fill me up.
"So He humbled you, ALLOWED you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you to know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord." Deuteronomy 8:3
God allows us to hunger. Then he feeds us what we need.
"When you have eaten and are FULL, THEN you will bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you." vs 10
God led the children of Israel out of Egypt and into the wilderness. They suffered hunger and wanted to go back to Egypt. To the land of bondage. They longed for all the plentiful food that they were accustomed to, but God was trying to teach them to hunger for more than food. He wanted them to see that He could provide so much better for them, but they didn't even know what to hunger for. He allowed them to hunger so he could feed them and satisfy them.
"O, taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed (happy) is the man that trust in Him." Psalms 34:8
"You will show me the path of life: IN YOUR PRESENCE is the fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures evermore." Psalms 16:11
"Who satisfies your mouth with GOOD things; so that your youth will be renewed like the eagles." Psalms 103:5
There have been times in my life when I wanted something so bad and the Lord withheld that thing from me. I pouted, begged and pleaded and when those things didn't work, I stalked away from God and ignored all that he offered in place of the things I wanted. I craved the junk of life, but God had what would truly satisfy me... or I should say He is Himself all that will ever satisfy me.
He allowed me to hunger, but always held out his hand, and when I was hungry enough to come back to Him, he would feed me. He feeds me and I realize those other things I was longing for could never satisfy me.
This is a cycle that repeats more than I care to admit. Like my 3 yr old wants cookies, chips and candy. I want. Like my 3 yr old doesn't know the difference between what he wants and what he needs. I want and really could care less about what I need. I easily forget.
We can hungry for all kinds of things. Sometimes those things are good things. I have friends who have desired to have a child and not been able too. Single friends who have desired marriage and remained single. Those unmet desires may be the very thing that God is using to draw a broken heart to him and the place that God wants to feed a hungry soul. Sometimes it's a lonely marriage and the desire for romance. You may be suffering financial trouble or a wayward child. If God would only give you want you wanted you could be happy.
I know how you feel. When you want something so bad it's hard to see how anything other than that thing could be the answer. How could it be true that God could satisfy all your needs? How could an invisible God fill you? Go back to Psalms 34:8 "Taste and see."
Just like the little boy who snuck over and took a bite from that bowl and found out how good it was that he took the whole thing and devoured it. Like the little boy who realized that he wanted more and finished off a second bowl. Afterwards he walked away satisfied and no longer wanted the junk food he had been asking for.
How do we taste and see. Look at what Jesus said.
"Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when he was hungry. The devil said, 'If you are the Son of God command these stones to become bread.' But Jesus answered him, saying, 'It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, BUT by every word of God." Luke 4:1-4
Jesus was hungry, but he knew that looking for food anywhere else but God wasn't what he needed. Jesus answer to earthly hunger was the Word of God. The Word (the Bible) is where God speaks to us and gives us manna from heaven, daily bread. When we read his word, sing his word and meditate on his word, he begins to fill up the empty places and we lose our taste for the things of the world.
Like Jesus, when we fill up daily with the Holy Spirit and feed ourselves from the Word, we are able to face our temptations and overcome. Overcome depression, anxiety, hunger, thirst and even attacks from the enemy. In Him we will find all that we need. Taste and See today.