That holiday evokes visions of turkeys, cranberry sauce, and other sights, smells and sounds of noisy, family gatherings. It triggers memories of the tastes of stuffing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie and leaves my mouth watering.
It brings a smile to my face.
And I love food. Not in the sense that I pig out every chance I get (my body wouldn’t thank me if I did), but in the sense that I enjoy it. I enjoy cooking, baking (especially this time of year), tasting and, of course, eating.
Every year, I try a new holiday dish and make my pumpkin and sweet potato pies…which, apparently, are to die for according to my Dad’s side of the family. Not to mention the fact that Thanksgiving weekend is when I do the majority of my holiday baking in my mom’s kitchen. It’s bigger than mine and, on the plus side, I get to spend time with her and my sister, which makes it that much more enjoyable.
I firmly believe that baking and cooking should be a social event. In fact, I spent this past Saturday baking pies with a friend. Fun times…
My love of food doesn’t simply stop there. It also spills into my spiritual life, which should cover every other part of my life.
Jesus referred to himself as the Bread of Life:
“I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6.35
Jesus had just fed 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. The crowd was excited and thrilled over what he had done and he used that miracle pair with a moment in Israel’s history to “land the plane,” so to speak. Jesus reminded them that it was God who had provided the manna for them in the desert and used that moment to point the truth of their spiritual depravity back to him.
Jesus is the Bread of Life.
He is the Living Water.
What nourished the body, he uses to picture what nourishes the soul.
Only he can satisfy those soul cravings.
We were created to hunger and thirst for only that which can fill us in completely.
We have a hunger for God that nothing in this world can fully satisfy.
Sure, the things of this world do satisfy…and that’s the problem. We can deceive ourselves into thinking that the “next thing” will bring fulfillment and it does…but only for a short time. And then we’re off, looking for that “next thing.” We all have our own vices and maybe even an addiction. Much of what is of this world can be good in and of itself but if that thing becomes the “main thing” (whether it’s a job, a relationship or a new “toy”), it becomes and idol and therefore, takes precedence over God.
Sadly, many will live life search for “bread and fish” and miss out on the Bread of Life. Many will get stuck in the never-ending cycle of pursuit to fill that void and miss out on what it means to “have life to the full.”
Only Jesus lasts.
I’m slowly learning that truth in my own life and have discovered when I choose him over anything else in my day (meet with him first thing in the morning, choose to pray on my way to work rather than ponder over whatever situation I may dealing with or that of a friend, and putting him first in each decision I make…not to mention my writing), I experience such depth and richness in this relationship and in my life than I would if I didn’t choose him.
Only Jesus lasts. Only he can fill.
And when we embrace that truth and seek Him first, we will be filled beyond what we can imagine and we’ll keep coming back from more, become so satisfied that we won’t hunger for anything else.