Tag Archives: hunger

Tired of Food

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I was sitting at a cafe table in front of an ice cream shop within walking distance from our house.  It was a lovely summer evening with the long, late rays of sun painting the world golden.  I was licking away at the drips sliding down the cone of my lemon sorbet and thinking of how refreshing this was, how delightfully tangy.  But suddenly I stopped in mid lick and decided I had had enough.

My friend asked me, “Are you full already?”

I paused, thought, and responded, “No, I’m just tired of that flavor.”  My taste buds were bored already.

When I said it, I realized what a privileged and extravagant attitude that was.  I’m bored with this food.  This food no longer entertains my mouth.

Here in Costa Rica people eat rice and beans almost every day.  They joke that if you want some variety to your rice and beans, you can have beans and rice.  And if you’re really wild and crazy, you can mix the rice and beans!  I can’t imagine eating that way, eating the same foods day in and day out.  We have 4 different kinds of cereal in our cabinet because no one likes to eat the same cereal every morning!  Imagine eating something as bland as rice and beans for your whole life!

We have hosted 8 teams this summer and one of the hardest things about the logistics of team hosting is feeding them 3 times a day.  Americans don’t like to eat the same thing every day.  And Americans don’t want to repeat the same TYPE of food too many times in the week either.  We get bored with the same food all the time.  

So every day Josh and I have to think about our schedule with the team.  We think about where we are going to be when a meal time comes around.  What restaurants are around that can feed so many people at once?  What restaurants are within their budget and WHAT HAVEN’T THEY EATEN YET?  Seriously, Americans will complain if the food is repetitive.

Many years ago we took a team of our youth kids on a missions trip to Utah, traveling by car and vans.  To save money, we planned sandwiches and basic home-made lunches that we could make on the side of the road.  No joke, TEN YEARS LATER those kids still remind us of how sick and tired they were of eating sandwiches every day for lunch!!!  No one remembers any of the ministry we did, any of the sites we saw in Yellowstone National Park, or anyone who gave their life to Jesus… but they all remember the crappy lunches we ate.

We get bored with our food.  Imagine that.  The entertainment value of our food determines the quantity of food we consume while half the world goes to bed hungry every night.  That’s just not right.  And I am as guilty as you are.  When I decided I was done with my lemon sorbet, I really did look around to see if there were any starving Chinese kids standing around who I could give it to.  But there were none, so I threw it away.

But I thought about how many Moms scold their family’s wastefulness with the line, “Eat your food, there are starving children in China who would love to have what you have!”  If I ever figure out how to send ice cream to China, I’ll let you know.  But in the meantime, we should all think more about why we put food into our mouths and what is our attitude towards our food.  Are we genuinely thankful for not just our Daily Bread which Father God provides, but for the abundance of food we have access to, or are we picky and only seeking to entertain our taste buds.

Proverbs 30:8 “… Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.”  Is that truly our attitude and prayer?

Lunchmeat vs. God

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Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays.  When I was younger, my mom’s whole family would gather at my grandparents’ house for a few days to celebrate together.  It was the only holiday that we all spent together on a regular basis.  I have good memories of Thanksgiving.  Grandma would begin cooking days before and by the time everyone arrived the house was full of tantalizing aromas.  Of course the turkey was the centerpiece of the meal.  I waited all year for that turkey.

When I was in college I noticed that the school cafeteria would begin serving turkey related meals the closer we got to Thanksgiving.  But by the time November rolled around, I already had my eye on the prize… the Turkey Feast, the real deal.  So I spent the month of November actually avoiding the fake turkey in the cafeteria so I could maintain an appetite for the real turkey that I knew Grandma would be making.

Did you know that God wants us to have an appetite, as well?  Maybe not for turkey, but He wants us to be hungry for the things that He’s preparing for us in Heaven.  He wants us to be hungry for more of Him in our lives here on earth.  He wants us to be hungry for the lost, hungry for a move of the Spirit; hungry for the rewards he has planned for us in Heaven.  But I’ve noticed that many Christians don’t have an appetite for the things of God.  They have spoiled their appetite with too much of this earth.  Their appetite is just for this life and they have forgotten that this life is just a sample of what’s to come.  It’s not meant to fill you up; it’s just a foretaste of Heaven.

Think about it like this.  Now, I like Carl Budding Lunchmeat, you know the really thin sliced deli meat.  It’s pretty tasty and makes a nice sandwich, but I would be incredibly disappointed if I showed up at my Grandma’s Thanksgiving Feast and she served us Carl Budding Lunchmeat instead of real turkey.  You see, when you know what the real thing tastes like, you just won’t settle for a substitute.  That’s why I avoided the cafeteria’s fake turkey meals, because I knew that the real deal was just a few days away.  I didn’t want to fill up on the imitation turkey and spoil my appetite for my special feast.  But as Christians, we spoil our appetite for Heaven all the time by filling up with the stuff here on earth that was never meant to satisfy us, was never meant to take the place of our reward in Heaven, was only meant to be a sample of the greater things yet to come. 

Look at your appetites.  Have you settled for the temporary joys of this lunchmeat life while forgetting that the Thanksgiving feast called Heaven is just around the corner?  God is the one who has designed you to be motivated by rewards, and He holds the BEST rewards possible because He knows exactly what will make you excited!  Have you listened to the lie that Heaven is going to be boring and bland or just one big long church service with us sitting on clouds strumming harps?  Have you spoiled your appetite for the things of the Spirit?

Friends, I believe that Jesus is coming back very, very soon.   I believe that we are in the last days of life on this Earth.  Let’s read what Jesus said about the time in which we are living, in:

Matthew 24:4-14 “Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

Notice how many times Jesus says “many”.  Many will turn from the faith, many will be deceived, and the love of MOST will grow cold.  I don’t know about you, but I have no intentions of being a part of the majority in this case.  I don’t want my love to grow cold; I want to maintain my appetite for God.  There are a lot of things this world offers to spoil your appetite.  You’ve got to keep your eye on the prize and maintain a healthy appetite for Heaven.  We don’t have much time left, Heaven in very real and very close.  Are you hungry for it?