COMFORTER OR COMFORT FOOD?
(John 14:16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter . . .
We all seem to have a love affair with food. And don’t we have variety and abundance of it in America? They say we should eat to live and not live to eat but we kind of suspect that kind of person surely has no fun in life! Since food seems to always be on our minds, how should we view the whole eating experience from a Biblical perspective? Aren’t we free as believers to enjoy? At least we don’t do drugs or alcohol anymore, is our usual comeback. Let’s take an honest look at this topic because for many of us food is a problem and even affecting our quality of life.
I believe God wants us to enjoy our food or He wouldn’t have given us taste buds. Eating is a pleasure. It satisfies the hunger and brings people together. God provides for all of our needs and for most of us we have never gone to bed hungry or had a worry about how we would acquire our next meal. But we have to admit that food can get out of control in our lives. A good thing has now become a bad thing and as a result has negative consequences. How did this happen? At what point did it transfer over to something unhealthy?
I think what happens is that we are looking to food for our comfort in life. We are stressed out and food makes us feel good. Problem is, our problems continue and so does our eating. We are now in a trap. We internalize our problems and many times don’t even know what we are doing. Food is so accessible and you can just grab and go and you don’t even think about the fact that you are really medicating. Then we develop a bad habit and we know habits are hard to break. People try dieting but they usually go back to their original weight or even gain more. It’s an unhealthy cycle for sure.
So what do we do? Realize that what you need when you get stressed is not a sandwich but the bread of life, Jesus Christ! (John 6:35) And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger . . . Take all your problems to Jesus. Let Him satisfy with the Holy Spirit as your Comforter. He will fill you up with His love, and the only thing you will gain is the pleasure of His presence (Psa 16:11). Instead of going to food, go to God! Stop and pray when you are tempted. Don’t serve your stomach (Rom 16:18), serve the Lord. Eat of His Word (Job 23:12). Enjoy the milk and meat of it (1 Pet 2:2; Heb 5:12-14). It even satisfies a sweet tooth! (Psa 19:10).
You might say that’s fine coming from a skinny preacher! Ah, but this is even for people like myself who can turn to food as well, and God knows our hearts. And it’s so funny because I am writing this at the lab waiting for blood to be drawn for my annual checkup. I had to fast and go without coffee. I am famished and trying to avoid being grumpy. Hope my number gets called soon because I’m eager to put my grub on! (Rom 14:17)