[bl]I[/bl]t’s the response of our flesh. The urges of our spirit.
The appetites of our stomach seek satisfaction. The longings of our heart seek fulfillment.
Hunger. It’s carnal and spiritual.
We are a people who are continually emptied, body and soul, in need of continual replenishing.
It’s the way we were created. So we would look to a provider.
But in our fallenness, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to supply our own needs. Instead of upward, we look inward and outward for fulfillment.
In fact, we don’t really even know what hunger is. At the first sign of it, we fill ourselves. And often, we satisfy body and soul out of mere anticipate of hunger. We consume food long before our stomachs need it. And we shop or veg, drink wine or eat chocolate at the first twinge of the soul’s need for filling.
Rather than consume the manna God provides, we find our own daily flakes that falsely satisfy. But what we’re really doing with our man made manna is masking, not filling. Masking emotions and avoiding feelings. Not engaging our very self. All with a simple piece of chocolate. Or a trip to Target. Or a mindless episode of observing the stories and relationships of characters on a screen.
Do we not believe that he will provide? Do we doubt that his manna will be good?
Food. It’s central to who we are. It’s like a religion. A constant force. A regular activity. It brings people together. And feeds us the lie that we need it more than God.
It’s no coincidence that it was food God set before man as his choice to obey or disobey. And that it was food that deliciously wrapped the temptation to know all things. And it was the need for food that led Jacob’s family into bondage. And it was food that God used to instill trust in his wandering people.
Food was created for good. To nourish our God formed bodies. To bring delight to the tongue and know that God’s provisions are sweet. Food is how God’s earth provides for God’s people. The Creator of all things initiated a relationship between man and the land. A relationship we hardly recognize anymore. A way of living far removed from our present reality.
Because eating is no longer a way to satisfy hunger and nourish the body. It’s become a way to indulge and pacify the cravings of our flesh.
And so we abuse it. We over consume. We under consume. We don’t know how to fast. We produce what’s artificial. We choose dessert over a well balanced meal. And without much thought, we pay gross amounts of money to eat.
Because food is what our flesh can’t live without.
But this is God’s design. And he must have known that in our fallenness we would distort this intimate relationship with our body. He must have known we would develop a dependence on food, rather than him.
And so our faithful God rains down manna. He fills the earth with provisions that fill our stomachs. But what he really wants his people to eat, what he really wants them to live on is him. Him! The Bread of Life. And so he sends down Jesus.
Because Jesus is what our souls can’t live without.
Partaking of him and feasting in his goodness is the only way to satisfy our hunger. Because what we ALL hunger for, what we really only ever hunger for….is life.
Life, instead of sickness. Life, instead of death. Life, instead of abuse. Life, instead of insecurity. Life, instead of a busy schedule. Life, instead of boundaries. Life, instead of routine. Life, instead of religion. Life, instead of hopelessness.
Life. It’s the real hunger of our body and soul. And it’s found in Jesus Christ.
Food is intended to be hospitable to us. To bless us. Fill us. Heal us. Provide for us. Restore us. It’s intended to remind us of our Creator, and the way he designed us to need him.
But food cannot be hospitable to us, unless we allow it to be, choose it to be.
May we be a people who look to Jesus for satisfaction. For the true filling of our body and spirit. As life literally pours out of us in our efforts to give it to others, may we depend on God to replenish our emptiness. Through the quiet. Through affirmation. Or love given by another. Or life poured into us through a friend or spouse. Or the comfort that only a child knows how to give. Or the Truth found in the Word. God’s provisions are good and satisfying. Discover the ways he tries to provide for you.
May we also live as a people who understands the place food ought to have in our life. May we perceive it as a provision of God. A reminder that we are flesh. What we consume is either life or death. Let us find ways to receive life through food:
- Begin each day with a glass of water. For nothing we consume the rest of the day will be as pure and nourishing as that. Just. Like. His. Word.
- Increase our children’s involvement in the cooking of meals. Instill in them knowledge of where and how their food is grown and processed.
- When we crave chocolate, stop and consider what emotion we’re experiencing. Frustration. Exhaustion. Irritation. Stress. Instead of unwrapping the semi-sweet, may we open the bitter-sweet Word of God that pierces, convicts and comforts the troubled soul. (If I could do this just once this week, I would be really proud of myself)
- Shop on the outskirts of the grocery store more than the inner aisles. Make an effort to primarily consume food given by the earth, rather than factories.
- Delight in what tastes good, but don’t let taste dictate your choices.
- Eat at home. As much as you can. Cooking takes more time, but anything that gives life usually does.
- Share your food with others.
- Regularly fast. For when your body does without, your spirit comes to life.
- Don’t get caught up in all the details and conflicting messages about what it healthy and what is not. Think fresh, think consistent, think manageable, think wholesome.
- Discover the healing properties of particular foods. Teas, ginger, garlic — there’s a long list and if you want to know it, contact Lisa Laster!! She’s full of wisdom and experience.
Today I share my tortilla soup recipe. I don’t claim this recipe as overly healthy! Just an easy, wholesome meal to cook at home. Something to warm you on this cool, colorful Autumn weekend. Because the point of this post isn’t to encourage a healthy diet. Rather a healthy perspective on food, which will lead to good eating.
1 Can sweet golden corn
2 Cans black beans
1 Can diced green chilis
1 cans Ro-Tel
1 (14 ½ oz) Can diced tomatoes
¼ C chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 -3 14 oz Cans chicken broth
1-2 T. Lime Juice
2-3 T. Cumin
1 T. Chili powder
3 chicken breasts, boiled and diced (or the meat from 1 whole chicken. I will often buy a rotisserie chicken for a fast soup)
1 pkg. Monterey Jack/cheddar cheese
1 pkg. of 10 flour tortillas (small taco size is best)
Combine all ingredients into a stock pot. Bring to a boil and let simmer for up to 30 minutes. This is not a thick tortilla soup. But if you prefer, you can thicken the soup by adding some cream corn, cutting up a few corn tortillas to dissolve into the soup, or several chunks of Velveeta cheese to melt. Truth be told, I make this soup without a recipe. The above is a good educated guess as to what I do! Don’t hesitate to add or take away to your liking. (The picture above is not a great representation because I only had beef broth which made it darker than normal)
I serve this soup with shredded cheese and fried tortilla strips. Pour oil into a large skillet, about ½ inch deep and heat it at medium-high. While the oil is heating up, cut the flour tortillas into very skinny strips. Test the oil with one tortilla strip, if it sizzles, the oil is hot enough. Drop a handful of tortilla strips into the skillet. They only take about 3-4 minutes to get lightly browned. I recommend monitoring them the whole time. It’s not necessary to keep the strips flat in the skillet. Take a spatula and flip them all around so all sides brown. When they brown to a light golden brown remove them to a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.