Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Nutrition From The Wrong Place

I do it every time I visit the grocery store even though I know better.

Unhealthy and healthy food. I buy it all. Chips, burgers, fries, fudge, brownies, cake, ice cream, and my favorite, Little Debbie’s. But also veggies, meat, and fruit.

Forty was the year of change. Prior to this I could eat as much of what I wanted without it affecting my body’s shape. Suddenly metabolism slowed causing my chest to fall and protrude in my stomach. Belts, shirts and coats shrunk in the closet.

All food has some nutritional value, and even enough of the healthiest food (anything with no taste) fills the stomach. But while momentarily satisfying, unhealthy food also clogs arteries, increases pounds, raises blood pressure, and causes strokes, heart attacks and diabetes.

It may seem the prophet is challenging us to select healthy foods, but the meaning is deeper: Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare (Isaiah 55:2).

Healthy and unhealthy foods provide only temporary filling. Within a few hours, the stomach growls, food aromas tantalize and every restaurant invites. But there is food and drink that once consumed completely satisfies. The prophet offered it, and Jesus later proposed he was it. (John 6:35)

The offered food is not literal but consumed through a relationship. Once devoured, it will presently and eternally satisfy beyond any food’s capacity. I still crave healthy and unhealthy food and eat both-just in smaller quantities. But I’ve learned spiritual food is more important. I can eat as much as I want and never gain a pound. Nor will it will clog my arteries or make me more susceptible to stroke and heart attack. And it will put a smile on my face and peace in my heart.

God enables us to choose what completely satisfies.

Prayer: Father, when we’re tempted to eat what won’t satisfy, fill us by Your presence.