By Tom Brown – Minister, Public Speaker, Radio Personality
The coming of Thanksgiving often brings a focus on food. Even people that are not all that thankful plot and plan on what they will be consuming whether it is in front of the TV, around the family table, or even a special meal out. Can’t you smell the turkey gravy as it pours slowly over the creamy, buttery, mashed potatoes, or taste the tangy bite of cranberry salad as you try to keep it from squirting on your shirt? And how about that smooth pumpkin pie with a slightly crunchy crust to finish off round one? And if you do not have an imagination for the meal, advertisers are more than ready to paint a beautiful picture of the perfectly basted turkey or sugar glazed ham for you.
Hunger for social contact hits some people hard at this time of year, and probably especially so this year. Have you been home alone yearning for communion with friends and family? Are you craving getting ‘caught up’ with the latest adventure from Aunt Rachel while seeing the new scar on her left elbow that she received when she missed sticking the landing on the zip line “by thaaaaat much?” What about looking into Uncle Bob’s sparkling eyes as he regales the family with his step-by-step accounting of the big one that DID NOT get away? Or could it be to finally find out from your grandson just how that new video App is supposed to work on your phone?
For those with full stomachs and social contacts, another hunger can arise. Monday’s are the worst day of the week for the underappreciated worker hungering for affirmation from their stressed-out manager. Is the weighed down student staying after practice to finish a few more drills so he does not let down his dad, his coach, team, or even the whole town? What about attention craving spouse anxiously waiting for a positive sign after working all afternoon attempting to craft the perfect meal?
Hunger comes in many forms and when we look for earth-bound satiation we are often left wanting. The scrumptious over-indulged Thanksgiving dinner leaves us lethargic and miserable. The excitement of the family gathering can dim with old bitterness arising or emotional wounds being laid bare. Self-worth derived from an employer or spouse can be tenuous, indeed.
Good news! If you truly want all your deepest hungers satisfied, you do have a resource; the Word of God. God said to the Prophet Ezekiel “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.” Then I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth.” (Eze 3:3 NASB) No, eating your Bible will not taste like honey, however regular indulgence in God’s Word will bring about a maturity that will help you master your appetites. For instance, eating is still a work in progress for me. This year I have been more diligent reading the Bible every day. I weigh less right now than I have in over 20 years. I do not think that is a coincidence. God’s Word is good. It is nourishing. It is satisfying. God created you in such a way as to enjoy the taste of good food and at the same time He wants you to be healthy as well.
As to relationship, you were created to commune with God. When you read the Bible, pray, and listen, you are communicating with God Almighty. The Creator of all that is, was, and ever will be! That is some pretty heady stuff. If you develop a relationship with God, you will never be alone. Jesus knows what it is like to be ostracized, bad-mouthed, and despised. Jesus wants to have a real relationship; He wants you to know and love Him as much as He knows and loves you.
“If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom 8:31 KJV) You already have the most powerful cheerleader in the universe on your side. If you look at your work as an offering to the Lord, you will never be left wanting for affirmation. You will always be joyful with a job well done. It has also been my experience that that joyful offering often pays dividends here in the natural world as well. If you have been given athletic, artistic, or whatever kind of talent, and you always put Him first, you will not have the anxiety that this world puts on you. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:30 ESV) He wants joy for you, joy that can only be found in Him.
Are you ready to satisfy your hunger with something eternal? Join me here in coming weeks to learn more about how we can read the Bible through together next year.