Our church is putting together a cookbook, a compilation of our congregation’s favorite recipes. The lady who is spearheading this project asked me if I would be willing to edit the 100-page book. I gladly accepted.
Last night I began the process of digging through every word, every sentence, every recipe to ensure proper spelling, grammar, and consistent formatting. Along the way, I noticed something peculiar- my stomach was growling and my mouth was watering!
As I examined recipes for bacon-wrapped water chestnuts, bread pudding, baked oatmeal, stuffed mushrooms, and crock pot Italian beef, I realized that I was becoming quite hungry for the meals I was reading about!
What else am I hungry for? I think we all tend to crave the things we focus on. The motorcycle I bought two years ago? That came from dwelling on and thinking non-stop about being free to fly down the road on two wheels, letting the wind blow through my hair. The Mac that I’m sitting at at this very moment? As I began my freelance business, I had a constant gaze toward getting the proper equipment equal to the task of writing, editing, and voice recording.
I’ve noticed I’m this way with both good things and not-so-good things. I am a nervous eater, so if I am stressed to the max, I find myself chowing down on larger-than-normal quantities of unhealthy food. It takes a supernatural act to pull me away from my bent toward food satisfaction. Really, I bet any of our sins fall in the same category – we think it, we want it, we drive toward it, we fight ’til we get it, hoping it makes us feel better about life.
A few weeks ago a gal from church returned home from college for a weekend visit. She had told me months before that this was a particularly tough semester. A terrible accident had happened to two of her fellow students. A young man and woman were sitting under a tree, perhaps near a lake (I don’t remember). But a large tree fell, in a freak accident, hitting both of them. One of the students was killed, the other critically injured. My friend told me that the weight of the accident has been hard to shake, even months after it happened.
However, when she came home for a weekend, I saw a renewed focus on her part. Previously she stated she was really struggling, that she had a tough time making sense of everything. But the weekend she was home, she spoke with a resiliency that only comes from a healing heart, a healing heart that can only come from the touch of the Master Physician. She mentioned a verse from the Bible a handful of times, and it has been lingering in my mind since she’s gone back to college:
Hebrews 12:2 – “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
My friend had a lot of things she could have been fixing her eyes on. Heartache. Faltering faith. Sadness. Confusion. But the Lord had given her a refreshed, renewed set of eyes to see life through. Her words she spoke with were infused with hope, with joy, with passion, and with purpose. She didn’t suddenly become oblivious to the terrible accident that happened earlier in the semester. But she chose to change her paradigm, her perspective. As she’s been fixing her gaze on Christ, she’s been given the ability to heal, to make sense of things, to have the courage to move forward. Kudos to her! I have a lot to learn from her experience…
Jesus Christ mentioned those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, that they’d be filled. While a tasty helping of “Aunt Suzy’s Potato Salad,” or pumpkin bars might make my mouth happy for a short time, I want to become more aware of what will satisfy my soul, the deepest longings of my life. The King of the Universe, seated on the throne, awaits to fill every need.
Stay hungry, my friends….