Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Taste Tester

In a recent blog-post of mine entitled, "Thankless Jobs," I shared about how I have struggled the past few months with eating inappropriately over the long, hard winter.  When I think about the reasons why I somewhat overeat (or rather, eat late at night when I should not), it really boils down to one thing--the desire to be, "filled." I partake of late-night treats for lots of reasons--most of all, I just love to eat!  But I snack due to boredom, stress, sadness, worry and hunger, as well (hunger actually happens to be a good reason.  But at my age, being hungry at night is a curse)!  I also struggle to abstain from eating after 8PM because my 6'1'', 165# husband eats all evening in front of me and never gains an ounce of weight.  I think he actually loses weight while he eats.  Lifting his hand to his mouth to scarf down popcorn is hard work.  I'm convinced it only boosts his metabolic rate!  Matt can sit around and graze all night and I am the one who gains weight just watching him.  It is pretty hard to exercise self-control while watching someone devour tasty snacks.  We laugh because Matt's hind-end seems to be disappearing the older he gets, and mine...well, you know.  I wonder if they have the old, "Buns of Steel" video out on Blue-ray yet?!

The other night while rummaging through the kitchen thinking I was starving to death, the verse from Psalm 34:8 came to my mind, "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him."  I used to have this verse posted in large print on my refrigerator to remind myself that when I feel the need to be "filled," I need to go to my Lord instead of the "Little Debbies."  (They may be called, "little," but you won't be if you eat them at 10PM every night)!  The negative reasons for my inappropriate eating can all be alleviated pretty quickly and sufficiently by turning to God.  I know this.  So why do I fail to do it?  I think of what Paul says concerning his own afflictions with sin in Romans 7:15, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."  Perhaps you are reading this and cannot relate because food isn't your particular vice.  Maybe you drink too much when you are sad.  Maybe you work yourself to death and ignore your family.  Maybe you shop too much.  Maybe you call up friends and vent to them instead of going to God with your problems and issues.  Maybe you are enticed by things on the Internet that are poisoning you and your marriage.  Maybe you waste time watching reality T.V., trolling Facebook, or playing Internet games to escape the reality of what is really bugging you.  We all do it.  We all have our particular little area(s) in life where we run for filling and escape, instead of running to God.  Funny how all those areas fail to fully satisfy our hunger to be filled.  They either leave us emptier, cost us something in return, or they hook us into needing more and more.  Entrapments never truly quench our needs--they are only temporary fixes.  Some escapes aren't innately harmful.  But in many cases, they are tricks.  God is the only safe and effective source for filling, and we walk away from time spent with Him truly refreshed, energized, and guiltless to boot (and God-time is always free and always accessible)! 

Sadly, there are many "faiths" out there that you can sample or taste for your personal liking.  I have studied all the main ones and the one truth that penetrated my soul about Christianity and my belief in Christ is that of God's great love, grace and mercy toward us.  He came to earth as a man to die in our place and we don't have to "do" anything to earn our salvation.  We just have to believe and accept that He did it.  It's done.  He loved us first and we just have to love Him back (1 John 4:19).  Every other faith out there tells you otherwise.  They imprison you to the idea that you have to, "do stuff," to earn your way to heaven or to the notion that you can never have eternal security (or worse, they tell you that YOU are your own Savior--yikes, that's a scary thought. I can't even keep up with my laundry)!  Christ tore down the "do-list."  He tore apart our bondage to the Law (God's commandments) and the fact that we can never be perfect.  He wants us to try to do good and keep His commandments, but He loves and accepts us as we are.  He crossed geographical, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender lines.  He brought more freedom and hope to women and men alike than any other religion you will ever find.  Knowing the Bible was written by more than 40 inspired prophets, eyewitnesses, and men who actually walked with Christ, is another solidifying fact for me that Christianity is The Truth.  Other "faiths" are typically the ideas of ONE MAN's "visions" (and women are just a side-note or possession with little to no guarantee of eternal salvation).  It is no accident that we are keeping the calendar based on the life of this man, Jesus.  It is also no coincidence that the Holy Bible is still the number one best-selling book in the world.  I am fully convinced that the aforementioned verse (Psalm 34:8), is God's way of inviting you to give Him an honest taste-test.  He invites us all daily to His table of truths for feasting. 

Perhaps you don't really know God or understand how to run to Him when you are hurting, needing refueled, or desiring an escape.  It is easy, friend.  Invite God into your life.  Read His Word--the Holy Bible (the corroborated true one, not any of the ones written by "ONE" person).  Talk to Him.  Tell Him everything.  Praise Him and give Him thanks daily.  Run to Him every time you feel yourself running to the vice(s).  He is good.  He will fill you.  He will be your Great Escape and your strength.  He promises us this.  At times, He can seem pretty far away, even to those of us who claim to know Him.  We all walk through many trials temporarily in this fallen world, but God never fails us.  He walks with us through them and He is there--always.  Even in death He promises to be with us (Matt. 28:20).  He will fill you if you truly seek Him and just ask.  Skip the bon-bons--grab a Bible.

Key Verses:

Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him."

Romans 15:13, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."