Food is not a solution.

5 Mar

You would think that after a year of being at home everyday, I would have it figured out how to handle having the kitchen constantly ten steps away from me. Not so much.

Yesterday, Travis had to work and then he had a conference in downtown Denver. Since the company pays for the hotel rooms, he will just stay down there until the conference is over tonight. So after hanging out with a friend from church in the morning, it was just me and Katy for the rest of the day.

As I was watching TV, I found myself fantasizing about what I was going to eat for dinner. Should I go get curly fries from Arby’s? Maybe a blizzard from Dairy Queen? Or maybe I should make waffles and cover them in buttery, syrupy goodness… Whenever I am home alone for an entire day, these are the thoughts going through my head. Sad, isn’t it?

I took Katy on a walk and was pondering the state of my food-craving soul when I realized: the reason why I wanted fatty comfort food was because I was lonely and bored. That’s how it always is when I’m alone at night. I get lonely and bored. Besides showing me how much I love having my husband around, this also explains why there’s always a subtle feeling of disappointment left lurking underneath my full stomach. Food is not the solution. It’s not even a solution.

So what is the solution? Ultimately, it’s God. Only God can truly comfort my loneliness and entertain my boredom, because only He understands what I really, in my heart of hearts, want. (But He has also given me a wonderful husband and friends to help out as well.)

Nevertheless, a solution is nothing if not employed practically. So the way the solution of God works itself out with this struggle is through prayer, discernment, and flesh-control.

Flesh-control: The thing about using food as a solution is that it always make you feel worse afterward. Not only are you still left with your original feelings, you’re also stuffed and feel like a Goodyear blimp. My sinful nature cannot be bothered to reckon with these implications in the moment of a craving, however. That’s where the flesh-control comes in. Some people say self-control. But as I understand it, my true self desires God alone. My flesh desires food. So I have to control my flesh and let my self win. Flesh-control.

Discernment: My food battles are born out of legitimate, God-given desires. It’s not wrong to desire comfort and excitement – what’s wrong is turning to things other than God to fulfill those desires. I deceive myself by thinking that food is the solution, when it really isn’t (as we’ve already established). So discernment, enabled by the Spirit, is what helps me see the desire that I’m expected food to remedy. Last night, it was loneliness and boredom. Sometimes it’s a desire for comfort and warmth. Ultimately, it’s a desire for more of God.

Prayer: After I discern what my true desires are, I take them to God. Instead of denying those desires, I find the fulfillment of them in Him. I also go to the word and remind myself of God’s promises. Yesterday, I was reminded of what Jesus said in the desert when tempted by Satan to eat: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” This verse not only shows me that food is not ultimate (fear of God is), food is also not the only way to get nourishment. Physical nourishment is meant to come through food, but spiritual nourishment is through “every word that comes from the mouth of God” – the Bible. My spiritual desires can only be remedied with a spiritual solution. That is why God is the answer.

So what did I end up eating for dinner last night? A multi-grain tortilla with eggs, taco meat, salsa, cheese and spinach. Then for dessert, a banana dipped in chocolate. When I’m not grasping after food to fulfill spiritual urges, I actually do enjoy eating healthy food. Instead of feeling deprived, I feel good about myself. God truly knows what is best for us – if only we’ll believe Him.

One Response to “Food is not a solution.”

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