Food for the Heart: Open your mouth wide—I will fill it up!
Psalm 81:10 (CEB)
What’s your comfort food?
Mine is usually meat and potatoes or maybe, blueberry pancakes. We might not agree, but one thing I know for sure, sometimes, everybody needs some Soul Food; the kind of food that takes you back home. Usually served with a side of tears, soul food is the kind of food you eat to survive.
Grieving and gnoshing just go together, don’t you think?
I’ve often tried eating my way out of today’s troubles only to end up feeling worse about myself, my situation, and well, life in general.
Thankfully, I’ve found some soul food that never leaves you with the hangry hangover of regret.
This is food for the heart.
In our wilderness seasons, we’re given the bread of adversity to eat and the water of affliction to quench our thirst (see Isaiah 20). Consequently, we’re never satisfied and often, we’re left with a grieving heart.
Unlike adversity and affliction, we’re hungry for something that’ll taste so good we actually want more. If you’re anything like I am, you probably try everything else before getting hungry enough to eat the Bread of Life.
Once, when I was about 17 years old, weighing in at about 102 pounds, sopping wet, I remember being hungry…really, really hungry. This was not the norm. Back then, I pretty much lived on Tab cola and cigarettes, but this particular day, I wanted real food. Of course, my sweet mama, grateful I was finally hungry, offered to cook me anything I wanted. From steak and mashed potatoes to fresh baked cookies, she was willing to make me a feast.
But, nothing sounded good to me. Funny, I also just remembered, this was the only time I ever heard my Southern Baptist, Sunday School teaching mama to swear. Ever! Boy, was she mad at me! Honestly, I’m fully aware, I was being a spoiled brat.
The truth is, I wasn’t really hungry for food, but I was starving for some soul food.
I needed some Jesus to satisfy my underlying need. Almost anorexic, maybe a little bulimic, my soul was starving to death right in the middle of my well-to-do Christian home. Unfortunately, it would be years before I would sit back down at the banquet table. When I finally found my way back to my Father’s house, I swore I’d never leave again.
Knowing Our True Identity Gives Us a Place at the Table
Soul Food by definition is soothing, comfort food that brings back warm memories or food that is eaten for your soul to survive.
Once we’ve tasted food from the King’s table, we won’t go back to eating scraps. Hopefully, we come to realize we’re a daughter or a son, not a beggar in the street. Our identity in Christ gives us a seat at the table. No matter how long we’ve refused the invitation, we find we’re welcome here.
What does it take to fill up a grieving heart and satisfy our hungry souls?
It seems unlikely, but it’s sorrow that fills our bellies, opening up within us the capacity for heavenly life. Honestly, how hungry are you? Do you want the heavenly life, the Kingdom life? Without a doubt, such a life brings sorrows which accompany us on our journey to see the King. Jesus was a Man of Sorrows, and He was Heaven’s Son. If it is our earthly pursuit to look more like Him, then sorrow is what’s on our plate. And, if we want to be filled up spiritually, then we must open our mouths wide. If we want to be stretched, for our souls to be nourished and grow, we must sow in sorrow to reap a good harvest.
“Sorrow is God’s plowshare that turns up and subsoils the depths of the soul, that it may yield richer harvests. It takes sorrow to widen the soul.”
~The Heavenly Life
Tribulation is the way to triumph.
Troubles today are territories of triumph tomorrow.
Undeniably, on the battlefield of Life, every victory is a summons for the enemy to attack. Most often, when we’ve gained new territory, the enemy wants what we’ve fought so hard to conquer. We can be sure that he’ll come calling…often in the shadows of sorrow. Just when we’re trying to stand our ground, he’s hiding in the alley ready to jump.
Unfortunately, when we’re beaten-down, hungry, ready to come off the battlefield and back to the banquet table, the enemy tempts our every appetite. From selfish pride to lusts of the flesh, he’ll tempt us with anything we’ve eaten and enjoyed before. The enemy tried to tempt Jesus, but Jesus knew how to keep him at bay. Using the very Word of God, Jesus shows us how to be victorious too.
Jesus in the Wilderness
Next, Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. And, the devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights which left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger. Not surprisingly, the devil took advantage of in the first test:
“Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.” Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
Matthew 4: 1-4 MSG
Thankfully, there it is…our Soul Food.
Yes, it’s the food we need to survive. Truly, the food of family. A steady stream of words from God’s mouth is what we need to stay alive, be refreshed, and feel full. Maybe it’s time for some soul care. Perhaps, you’re in need of some soul food. If your heart is grieving in your wilderness season, comfort food awaits you.
Come, take your seat at the King’s table. Sit for a spell and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking His food for thought and food for life over you. This food calms our hunger pangs and fills us up with the only thing that satisfies. Open your mouth wide and feast on the soul food Jesus longs to serve you. He’ll feed your soul. He’ll welcome you to His table.
The Bread of Life is all you need.
Open your mouth wide—I will fill it up!
Psalm 81:10 (CEB)
Prayer: Abba Father, keep our eyes focused on You. Forgive us of our unbelief. Help us try not to figure it all out on our own, but to look to You as Provider and Protector. May we trust and obey while You lead us into our Promised Land, saying, “Who is like you, O Lord ~ glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, performing great wonders?” We love you, Lord. We welcome the wilderness knowing You’ll meet us there. Surprise us, oh Lord, with Your Presence as we journey on our way Home.
And, don’t forget, if you want to experience new levels of victorious living, this can be your Year of Victory.
With God, all things are possible; by becoming a Victory Girl, you can stake your claim in the Kingdom and start walking in your God-given destiny! Becoming a Victory Girl: Staking Your Claim in The Kingdom is available on Amazon and Kindle
Need some encouragement after suffering a devastating loss? Listen in to this episode of Real Victory Radio with my friend Michelle Jones. She shares how she found hope after losing her husband and learning to live as a single mom of four kids.
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