“Okay, bring me the chocolate!”
This is what I jokingly said to my friends driving me home after we sent our dear friend off at the airport. I was laughing, but I wasn’t really kidding.
My friend who I had lived with for the past two years in Singapore was…gone. For good. To Africa. She was my prayer partner…my confidant…my source of laughter…soul sister. Her not being here tomorrow morning to sip our morning coffee together left a big gaping hole in my heart…which I wanted to fill by scarfing down a big bar of chocolate!
Does that ever happen to you? When you are feeling overwhelmed with a certain emotion, be it anger, sadness or fear, and you just want to go to the nearest diner and order anything and everything on the menu? What is with that?
People say there are two categories of people: those who eat in times of stress and those who don’t eat during times of stress. Well, I can safely say I am in the first category. Somehow I got the “munching” genes (thanks mom!).
All joking aside, there there is some comforting quality in food. Its like some secret ingredient that surges through your veins at the moment of consumption. There are even foods we deem “comfort food” – usually anything that is deep-fried, grease-drenched or chocolate-covered. We know we shouldn’t eat it but do anyway because we know it will bring that momentary ‘relief’ that we need.
But that’s just it. It’s just momentary. Food in its physical form, no matter how ‘comforting’ it appears to be, has no staying power – besides causing heart burn or a big belly ache!
I was reminded of the verse that says,
“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin–because anyone who has died has been set free from sin” (Romans 6:6-7).
We can be slaves to whatever we think will bring us comfort. It may be food, drugs, alcohol excessive exercise or starvation. Whatever it is, it rules over us and leads to unhealthy and destructive behaviors–which ultimately create separation from God.
I wonder what it would be like if we started turning to Jesus in these moments. Instead of chocolate, ice cream, french fries and waffles (or whatever it may be)… His Word would serve as a huge feast of ‘soul’ food–offering the real, deep and lasting comfort we’re craving for in the first place.
I pray that we can have a fresh revelation of His love and sacrifice on the cross SO THAT we can have a living, vibrant, healthy life with God that will compel us to turn to Him in our times of emotional distress instead of the temporary comforts of this world. He is our ultimate Provider just waiting to unleash giant ‘portions’ of his chocolate-covered grace, love, comfort and strength during times when we need it most.
Dear Lord, I am sorry for turning to anything other than You to fulfill my deepest needs. Please forgive me for giving into temptation to consume food for comfort instead or consuming You. Thank you that You sent Jesus to die for me and all of humanity so that no sin or temptation would have power over us. Thank you that the desires of my flesh have been crucified with Jesus on the cross so that I may have life and life abundantly with You. Help me Lord and give me the strength to turn away from chocolate during times of emotional stress and run toward Your open arms. May Your unfailing love be my comfort (Psalms 119:76) in all things Lord. I love you. Amen.
Food for Thought:
Where do you turn when your emotions are running high?