Please don’t exit out of this message just yet…I promise…the title isn’t what you think!
This journey began January 10–a journey I took with a dear friend who has become one of my biggest encouragers, one of my biggest supporters and prayer warriors. This journey, this challenge, came up with a result that I never expected. This journey–one I knew was going to be hard, but I had NO idea how hard, or how much I relied upon it to fill me.
The challenge we took was a 21-day fast from bread and grain.
That’s right. That meant no sandwiches, no oatmeal, no cookies, no baked goods, no croutons on our salads, no pasta…just to name a few. In those 21 days I saw how much I relied on bread to fill me. And not necessarily only when I was hungry. I also used it to fill the time when I was bored, to fill the holes in my heart when it was hurting, to fill the void when long-awaited desires still turned up empty. I was using bread and grain as a crutch.
Of course, it was during this time that I faced probably the hardest trial in my life up to that point. I saw that the more I was faithful to remain on course despite the miscarriage, the more He showed himself faithful in healing my wound.
He showed me that He would fill the void if I would quit filling it with bread. (Ouch!)
In this time, He showed me that I did need bread, but not the kind of bread I thought. I needed to rediscover the Bread of Life. For he tells us this:
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” (John 6:35)
While I’m not saying that bread is evil…I am saying that using bread (or anything else) to fill those voids in our lives is not healthy. Not only that, but it won’t be a lasting fill. Within a few hours, days, or weeks, that “plug” will come out and the void will begin to ache again. Until we turn that area over to Him, we will continue to go in the circle of void-pain-plug-void-pain-plug and so on.
Did you catch the second part of that verse? “…he who comes to me will never go hungry…” I think this is speaking more to our spiritual hunger than our physical hunger. Think about it. In your life, when have you felt the most spiritually starved? I know for me, it’s when I’ve walked the opposite direction (even if slightly) from Him. Then, when I turn toward Him I find that ache, that hunger, getting filled. Yes, it is there that I get a taste of the bread of life that should be my primary source of satisfaction.
And the third part? “…he who believes in me will never go thirsty.” Feel thirsty much? Spiritually thirsty? What does thirst feel like when it comes to the spirit? It’s that gentle longing we feel. The one when we’ve been out of the word for a day or two. Those beginning “hunger pains.” You know, the ones that warn you that you should “fill up now, before it sounds like you have a monster growling within you” sorta pains.
Unlike the physical “mini hunger pains” I would encourage filling up your spirit when you first sense that you are beginning to get hungry. I know for me, through doing so, the spiritual starvation mode can be avoided much of the time.
So how about you? Are you hungry for more of Him? I know I am.
Will you join us in seeking our fulfillment in the Bread of life? We would love to have you!