Nearly every day my boys beg for food before dinner.
“Please mom? Just one?? I promise I’ll still eat supper!”
Their begging is as predictable as the tides.
But so is my response. You can probably guess what it is:
“I don’t want you to have a snack, because then you won’t be hungry for dinner!”
Having a small snack puts just enough food into their bloodstream to trick the brain into thinking the body isn’t actually hungry anymore, even if the snack is as small as a single gummy bear or a few almonds. If you’re trying to keep from eating like a machine at mealtimes, this is a good mind trick. But for little boys who need the healthy food I’ve cooked up for them, this is a terrible mind trick.
Small snack = not hungry for the good stuff.
Have you ever snacked on the things of the world, things that have partially satiated your appetite for God…but never fully fulfilled it?
I feel bored, so I go shopping.
I feel a vague sense of hunger, so I eat.
I feel unloved, so I turn to people.
And as I snack on the things of this world, those hungers are temporarily assuaged, so I can’t actually feel any deep hunger for God.
Sometimes we actually satiate the hunger with God himself, but only in small doses. Like a child getting inoculated against measles, we get a small amount, just enough to keep us from getting the real deal.
We go church on Sunday and feeling like that’s enough “God stuff” for the week.
We pray here and there throughout the day and never settle down to pray strategically.
We read a 30 second devotional and forget about him the rest of the day.
Sometimes small doses are exactly what we need, like when there’s tiny children in the houses demanding attention with every breath. But usually those small doses simply keep us from desiring God in a deeper way.
Can I tell you something that you probably don’t want to hear from a leader in your church? Sometimes, when I’m really struggling with apathy, I completely ignore God/the Bible/prayer for awhile.
(I don’t actually recommend this, I’m just saying what I’ve done.) Honestly, it usually only takes a few hours before my hunger is exposed for what it is -> a true desperation for God’s working in my life. And then he comes with a flood of mercy that surprises and fills to the deepest places.
Are you inoculating yourself against God? Perhaps you are merely getting enough of him to keep yourself from fully drying out, but are never fully quenching the thirst.
Are you snacking on the things of this world? Perhaps you are filling that hunger with the wrong things. Things that trick your mind into thinking it’s satisfied, but can never truly satisfy your soul.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
(Photo from pixabay.com)