“I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.'” Lamentations 3:24
I remember watching a Beth Moore video and her saying that she’s sure in heaven they only serve fried chicken and not this boneless, skinless stuff we eat here on earth. I laughed at the comment, but recently I thought ‘I doubt there’s any food in heaven.’
Do you shudder at the thought of no food in heaven like I did? The minute I thought it, I was appalled.
But, then I thought about it more. We won’t have these physical bodies that require food for sustenance. So, why should there be food in heaven? For our pleasure and enjoyment? This is where I came to the conclusion that I doubt food is even wanted in heaven. After all, we will be face-to-face with our God! His holiness will surround us; we will know no greater joy than being in His presence. I don’t think we’ll even give thought to the lowly things of this earth at that moment. The Lord will be our portion.
Of course, I don’t claim to have any idea what heaven is truly like (never been there!). But, the fact at how annoyed I first became at the fleeting thought that food won’t be part of my eternal experience made me realize once again how addicted I am to it and the albeit brief enjoyment I get out of eating.
I’ll share a story with my readers that I’ve never shared before – a visual reminder to me of how much of a grip food has had on me and why I need God to set me free.
The story begins with our church doing different challenges so that we could better relate to those who are truly poor in the world. One of the challenges was to eat nothing but rice & beans for an entire week. I thought this challenge sounded a little too easy, so I thought I should make it nothing but one 8 oz. serving of rice & beans each day, similar to what the pastor had said was typical of those living in the poor country we were discussing.
I remember being surprised that the first day wasn’t that difficult. I told myself when I was hungry during the day that I’d be eating well that night. Rice & beans sounded delicious and I was thankful for them when dinner time arrived. The next day I was really hungry. I felt weak by dinner time, but I made it. On the third day, I was half dizzy by dinner time and I spilled my rice & beans when I was getting into the refrigerator. Picture it in your mind with me. I was starving (not really; after all, I was still overweight!). And the only thing I was allowing myself to eat was now on the floor, spilled out of the container that had held it by falling from the top shelf.
So, I did what anyone else would do (so I told myself) – the FIVE SECOND RULE! I reasoned with myself that I am a neat freak and typically keep my floors nice and clean. I literally got down on my hands and knees and as I was cleaning up the rice & beans, I began to eat them cold right off the floor. Sounds disgusting, no? At that moment, I felt the gentle presence of God reminding me that I was bowing down to food, right before my very fridge. I stopped right then and there and saw myself for where I truly was at in life. I was literally on my knees, doing something I knew to be wrong, simply because my desire for food had gotten the best of me. I felt like I had reached an all-time low. (And I’ll be honest in saying that I haven’t eaten rice & beans since then!)
When something simple like the pleasure of food holds us captive, how can we be set free? The answer, I’m learning, is to let God be our portion. In my current Bible study, author Dee Brestin recommends running to the Psalms when we’re hungry to be filled up. While at first I thought that sounded strange, it has actually helped when I’ve done it. I think asking God to be our portion before filling our bellies is a way to be set free from this type of bondage.
So, as you go through this week, ask God to be your portion. While He will be in heaven, can He be here on earth as well? Can we take more pleasure in our time with Him than our time spent with food? Can we wait on Him?
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for being our delight. Thank You for teaching us and leading us in a better way, one filled with discipline and self-control. God, we admit that we are weak. We have sinned in this area by making something other than you of extreme importance in our lives. Please free us and help us keep You alone as our portion in life. We wait for You to change us and fill us. Keep us in line with Your Holy Spirit. We praise You and thank You. Please make us healthy and thin for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!