Surrendering to our need to eat. Gorging ourselves. Gospel worker and author Gina Butz explains how these things can strengthen our souls for the spiritual journey. “Mold our hearts to be like Yours” is one of the prayer points of Pray2020.
My daughter and I recently watched a few seasons of the television show Survivor. It’s fascinating. I would be terrible on Survivor for so many reasons, one of which is that I get seriously hangry when I’m deprived of food. I would be useless in the challenges. Grumpy around camp. They would vote me off SO fast.
Nearly starving yourself in extreme conditions looks insane, but that’s the way many of us can live. I’m not talking about food. I’m talking about truth.
Why we starve ourselves
When we get busy, one of the first things that can get pushed out of our schedule is time with the truth.
We might have the best intentions to spend long periods of time soaking in scripture, parsing verses, digging deep into a word study. But then we stay up too late and sleep in and decide to skip the Word that morning.
Or the responsibilities pile up and instead of feeding on truth, we take up the time with one more task. I know that’s been the case with me the last few weeks in the rush of graduating a child. It’s, “I’ll pray while I walk,” or, “I’ll listen to a spiritual podcast while I (cook, do laundry, etc).” But instead of praying, my mind wanders, and instead of spiritual podcasts, Youtube seems more entertaining.
For a while, we can get by that way. But if we do it for too long, we begin to be people who truth-snack our way through life. We eat just enough to get by. When our souls feel a little weary, we throw them some scripture, a short devotional, a few minutes of prayer.
And so we starve.
Why do we just get by, when we could be gorging our souls on what they desperately need?
We can gorge ourselves on truth
If there is one area of our lives where we can eat until we are stuffed, it’s on truth. Reading scripture. Spending time listening to God. Filling our minds with what is true, instead of listening to ourselves.
And we need food for our souls not only on a regular basis, but even more so in those difficult times. The times when our souls are strained, pushed to the limit, when more is asked of us.
When we are most tempted to get by is when we need to stop and gorge ourselves. Admit our human need for something greater to sustain us, and eat what is good. Feed on the bread of life. Drink the living water. The more we do, the better able we are to face the trials that come.
Feeding ourselves takes time
In some seasons, I wish things were easier and I didn’t have to eat so much. I wish I didn’t feel so needy, or that it didn’t slow me down. But that’s when we need to get over ourselves and surrender.
In Isaiah 55, God invites us,”Come and eat. Buy wine and bread without cost. Feed on me.” Why would we say no to this invitation? There’s no reason for us to starve. We can always be going back and asking for more, finding that truth that satisfies our souls, that carries us through the day.
Our son is going to college this summer. We had to choose a meal plan — either pay an exorbitant amount for an all-access plan in the dorms, or do what they call, “Declining Balance.” In other words, put money on a card that they can use anywhere. This plan leans heavily on finding cheap ways to eat — think cereal and ramen. Seems like a sure-fire way for our son to lose weight and/or contract scurvy from lack of vegetables.
Friends, we don’t have to choose. We have the all-access plan, and the glorious part is that it’s free. We don’t have to live on a declining balance. Stopping to eat does not slow us down — it fortifies us for the journey.
So friends, let’s eat.