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Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Unreachable Itch

Maybe you can relate.

You're 'hungry' but you don't know what you want.  You might think to yourself, "Something with protein to hold me over until my next meal."  So, you grab a protein snack.  But, it doesn't hit the spot.  So, you think, "No, I think what I really want is just something sweet."  So, you grab for the sugary snack.  Nope, that doesn't do it either.  "How about something salty....no, something creamy...no, something..."  You just can't pinpoint what you need and by now you've loaded up on more calories than you wished you'd consumed.  You're left unsatisfied and maybe even feeling guilty.  Ugh!

For many of us, this dilemma has nothing to do with our physical cravings.  We're not reaching for food because we are physically hungry, we're reaching for it because it's become our go-to happy place.  We're looking for a comfort.  We're looking for an emotional need to be met and we think the answer is found on the 3rd shelf of our fridge.

Most of us are smart enough to realize that the answer isn't the bowl of ice cream or bag of chips, but the need inside of us screams louder than the voice of reason.  The 'hunger' feels very real, and the habit is hard to break.

I heard Joyce Meyer say in an interview once that one of the big reasons we do this is that deep inside we are longing for the Living God.  The 'hunger' we feel isn't just in our heads.  We do have a need we are trying to fill -- a real need, a longing.  But, trying to meet that need using food is just trying to scratch at an unreachable itch.  No amount of food (or alcohol or sex or work or...well, you fill in the blank) can take away that longing or meet that need.  Only God can do that.

I remember a song by the group Plumb that came out years ago.  It was even used in the movie "Bruce Almighty'.  Its chorus says it all...

There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And the restless soul is searching
There's a God-shaped hole in all of us
And it's a void only he can fill

 

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