Straight from a Craving Heart
By Lisa Elliott
Have you ever experienced any food cravings? What is your favourite thing to eat? Do you remember any of your favourite dining experiences? What was on the menu? What was it about that meal that makes it unforgettable? Who were you with?
My husband and I love to eat together. One of the first dates we ever went on was to Swiss Chalet. I ordered a quarter-chicken white meal that I will never forget. It had never tasted as good as when I shared it with him.
While I’m more of a quarter-chicken-white kind of girl, my husband’s taste buds crave things that are a little more outside my comfort-food box. That’s not to say that my taste buds have not expanded over the years under his influence.
I must also admit that I had some pretty significant cravings during my four pregnancies. I’ll never forget the pizza I craved more than anything during my first pregnancy. I was never as satisfied as when my husband came home later that night with a pizza in tow. And then there was the Chicken Chow Mein that had to come from a very specific restaurant. Chicken souvlaki and onion rings never tasted as good as they did when I was pregnant. Of course, I won’t soon forget the Snickers bars … or the Burger King Poutine … or the KFC gravy to top it all off.
The year my son, Ben, battled leukemia he experienced some significant cravings. We often compared notes. Popcorn was the first thing he craved after his initial treatment. He craved a chicken dinner once he was discharged from the hospital. All-dressed potato chips became his staple food when chemo-tongue tainted his taste buds. And then there were his radiation-induced cravings. The saltier the better!
As for me, God’s Word never tasted so good. It became a lifeline to me. I hungered for God. I craved His presence. I was desperate for Him. I could hardly wait to get into His Word every day! Psalm 42 was the cry of my heart, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?” I resonated with Jeremiah’s words, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O Lord, God of hosts” (Jeremiah 15:16, ESV).
There’s no doubt that food leaves a lasting impression, especially in relation to whom we’re dining with. Think about it, some of the most impressionable times in Jesus’ ministry were shared over a good meal. He was always being invited over for dinner with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. He fed multitudes on the hills. He even prepared some meals, Himself. He cooked up quite a breakfast on the beach for His disciples. And, of course, there’s the Last Supper He shared with them the night He was betrayed.
I’m personally looking forward to the great Feast of the Lamb when we all join Him for the best-tasting buffet at the banquet table awaiting us in Heaven. That’s where my family will meet again. That’s what my heart is truly craving and hungry for. Ben gave me a glimpse of it in his final days on this earth as he grabbed cream puffs from the smorgasbord in his dreamlike state.
In the meantime, I will continue to feed off the Word of God. The Bible tells us in Matthew 4:4 that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” 1 Peter 2:2-3 goes on to advise “Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
How’s your spiritual appetite? Why don’t you taste for yourself, and see that the Lord is good?
About this Contributor:
Lisa Elliott is an inspirational speaker and award-winning author of The Ben Ripple, Dancing in the Rain, and A Ministry Survival Guide. She’s also a writer for Just Between Us Magazine, theStory, and Good Ground. She and her pastor-husband, David, have four children (three on earth, one in heaven) and serve the Lord together in Ottawa, ON, Canada.