I love bread! There is no food more tantalizing for me than fresh, warm bread with real butter. I would take that over any typical dessert any day. Sadly, I cannot live on bread. In fact, I have to be careful to not each too much due to the negative affects it would have on my mind and body. A little if fine. A lot is not.
Why? Because while bread tastes good and will make me feel full, my body needs more than to feel full, it needs to be fed. The feelings of hunger can be satisfied with bread. But the nutrition my body needs to remain healthy and function well, require that I eat a variety of other foods.
When we lived in West Africa, we learned how to eat a food called Fufu. Out Togolese friends love Fufu like I love bread! It is a type of yam that is cooked and pounded into a sticky, dense substance that is similar to mashed potatoes. They love it because it is easy to grow, plentiful, cheap and makes them feel full. But there is hardly any nutritional value to it whatsoever! The only nutrition would come from the type of sauce they used with it. As a physician, my husband treated people with terrible wounds. Those whose diets were primarily Fufu, had varying degrees of malnutrition that made their wounds difficult to heal. So, we began growing plants with lots of nutrition and offering them to the patients. The nutrition allowed their bodies to function well and heal.
Our souls are similar to our bodies. We hunger to have our inner longings satisfied, but we also need to be nourished. There are plenty of options in life that are pleasant to experience and feel satisfying. But, not all that makes our souls feel satisfied is actually nourishing us. Sometimes, they just make us feel good.
For example, all people need to be loved. This is a basic human requirement for living a good and satisfying life. There are so many things we can do to make us feel loved, but don't actually satisfy the inner need. They are not nourishing. Many people turn to social media, relationships, medication and even church to alleviate their need to be loved. Just like bread, I do not believe there is anything inherently wrong with any of those options. The problems occur when we believe they actually satisfy our need to be loved, or are used incorrectly. They leave us just as hungry for love as when we started using them. They don't satisfy our need to be nourished by genuine and pure love.
When we try to satisfy our inner needs with the 'bread and fufu' of the world, we are left feeling perpetually unsatisfied. We consume more in order to feel full and grow exhausted from trying. This is a wearisome and discouraging pursuit.
Lonely. Worried. Tired. Sad. Empty
What would your life be like if these needs were met, if you had relief from the hunger your soul is experiencing?
Loved. At peace. Rested. Happy. Satisfied.
You do not have to be confined to a life of feasting on things that don't satisfy. Jesus said,
"I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again.
Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty again." John 6:35
He was not talking about the body. He was talking about your soul, your deep inner hunger. Jesus is the answer. Everything Jesus taught when He was on earth, and that we can read and learn in the Bible, gives us the real nourishment our souls crave.
What is your soul craving? Fullness and health are offered to you today. Stop endlessly pursuing what will never satisfy. Put it away. Come to Jesus. Open your Bible and read. Be nourished on the Words of truth. He will not let you down!
Would you like to know one way I nourish my soul on the Word of God deeply and consistently? I use a 3-ring binder and my Reflection Journal. When I spend time reading my Bible, I use the journal as a place to write, reflect and record what I am learning. It keeps me focused and organized. I can always go back to read what I have written and be nourished again with the truths God teaches me. I have made this available HERE!
If you or someone you know identify with any of these feelings or experiences and want to speak with someone, you can contact me. Let me know how I can reach you and we can set up a time to talk together about how Jesus' words can bring healing and relief.