I think one of the most underrated achievements of the Lord is the creation of flavor. He didn’t have to create flavors. He could have designed food strictly for sustenance, completely bland and with no enjoyable qualities whatsoever. In that decision, God still would have been infinitely good.
But in his blessed loving kindness, he decided that queso was going to taste the way it does. Biscuits and gravy, bacon cheeseburgers, filet mignon, chocolate cake—all of these flavor combinations flowed directly from the heart of God. Praise his name!
If you can’t tell yet, I love food.
I love talking about food, listening to others talk about food, trying new food and watching people make food on TV. In my opinion, the best foods are the ones that slow your heart down just a little bit.
There is nothing on earth better to me than sitting down for a good meal with good friends.
How I learned to appreciate flavor
So why am I telling you this? Because this summer I participated in a “cleanse.”
Don’t worry. For those of you who have participated in a cleanse before, I anticipated your discomfort upon mentioning this. Please know I am praying for you as you continue to read this article.
For those of you who don’t know what a cleanse is, it is simply a dietary program consisting of a length of time when you cut out everything you enjoy eating, replacing it with various fruits, vegetables and liquid concoctions that flush all of the fun—or “toxins”—out of your body.
My cleanse lasted four weeks. It was an incredibly difficult four weeks. And although I am lightheartedly poking fun at the whole cleanse process, I honestly found it to be extremely helpful. I really have never felt better.
Interestingly and amazingly, as I struggled through those weeks, God used the experience not only to cleanse my body but also to cleanse my heart and mind of various toxins.
“Well, what are you hungry for?”
Every afternoon or evening, my wife and I have a recurring and humorous conversation—at least to me. One of us will ask the other, “What would you like to do for dinner?” The other will answer with something like: “I don’t know. I picked last night. You pick.”
Eventually, one of us rephrases the question this way: “Well, what are you hungry for?” Then finally, we’ll settle on what we’re going to enjoy that evening for dinner.
“What are you hungry for” has become an interesting question to me. I have found I am asking it a lot of myself recently as it pertains to my emotional and spiritual life.
Jesus stated in the Gospel of John, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 5:35, ESV).
Everyone is hungry for something: success, affirmation, respect, belonging, rest, fun, intimacy.
What God taught me as I ate a million carrots was it isn’t wrong to be hungry for these things. He was also lovingly pointing out that the things on which I feasted promised only what he can deliver.
Only God really satisfies our hunger
You can certainly “eat your fill” of things that will quell your hunger. Your flesh and this world will never fail to provide a meal for it. But there’s so much better for you.
Not only is it important to identify the things you crave, it is important to identify how to satiate that craving, or—more importantly—“what” can truly satiate it. God gives a beautiful open invitation to the “what” in Isaiah, when he says:
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food” (Isaiah 55:1-2, ESV).
I ask you today: “What are you hungry for?” Make sure you’re taking your hunger to the one who can truly satisfy it.
Jason Dunton is the pastor of contemporary worship arts at First Baptist Church of Bryan, Texas.