They say you are what you eat. My teeth bear witness to that. Yesterday I bit down on a tootsie roll sucker and a sharp pain radiated through my jaw. Thirty-some years’ worth of candy eating has taken a toll, resulting in numerous fillings and a few unpleasant and very expensive root canals.
And all those tasty, double cheese crackers that go down so easily? They’ve left me sluggish and wanting more. Sweets and carbs, although temporarily satisfying, actually make us hungrier. They spike our blood sugar, resulting in an extra dose of insulin, only to leave us craving more.
When our daughter was young, I never dreamed of giving her candy. I was the sugar police and monitored her diet with hyper-vigilance. We started out with milk then progressed to solids. With each progression, I kept my eye on her growth and nutritional needs. And for the most part, she craved good, wholesome food—until someone introduced her to sugar. (Gramma!) Then it was all over.
Suddenly that broccoli that used to light up her eyes looked unappealing. The more junk she tasted, the more junk she wanted. I call it junk because that’s all it is—empty calories that wet the appetite but fail to deliver real nourishment.
I find the same is true in my spiritual life. The more junk I “eat,” the more I want. But in the end, all it leaves me with is a tooth-ache and a hunger brain-candy can’t fill.
To be truly satisfied and fulfilled, I need the meat of God’s Word. It always cracks me up when God uses something as trivial as tootsie rolls and crackers to get my attention, but as I worked to pry candy fragments out of the cracks of my teeth, I was reminded of a passage in the fifth chapter Hebrews.
“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teachings about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
-Hebrews 5:11-14 (NIV)
“Dear Lord, You alone can satisfy the hunger of my soul. Please help me to turn from those things that offer temporary satisfaction but fail to nurture my soul. Draw me to Your Word, creating in me an increased desire for Your wholesome, strengthening and satisfying truth….”