Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Guest Post: In the Desert by Alyssa

I've been thinking about the desert a lot, I'm not that cold (usually!) that I crave the dry heat of the desert. During Lent, I followed a reading plan that included the story of the Israelite's getting out of Egypt. And lately I've been reading the part about how they grumbled against God for not giving them food. And then he gives them holy food--manna--and they are commanded to not store up for the next day because God will provide accordingly for them each day. Any manna they tried to save got maggoty and moldy the next day because they were told not to save any extra.

And, not for the first time, was I convicted on that very point. Let me see if I can more accurately explain. Point blank, I've struggled with bingeing and purging. Bulimia. A lot of times around the dinner table we will have eaten, and I will be consciously full, but for some reason I still stuff my face and stomach. Why? Because in some way, I think, if I don't eat this now, it will all be gone later. Or, If I don't eat this now, somebody else will eat it later and I won't get to have anymore of it. Those thoughts aren't the result of facing starvation at some point and thus now hoarding. It's just simple selfishness. It isn't eating out of self-preservation, it is out of self-indulgence. Most simply, it is not trusting God that He will provide.

Like I said, I've never, ever gone through a period of time where I feared I wouldn't have enough to eat. See, later in Exodus, after the Israelites have kept up their bouts of complaining and trying to hoard from God, He gives them the 10 commandments. And how often I break half a dozen of them a day over just FOOD!

Don't covet: I see something someone else has and it makes me want to eat it too, even if I'm not hungry. Or I try to make a "healthy" alternative (like a yogurt dessert instead of ice cream) and then I end up eating waaay too much yogurt.

Don't murder: I put my own life at risk (which in a sense is "killing" myself) anytime I binge-I put tons of unnecessary calories in, cause my blood sugar to be totally out of whack and if I throw any of it up, that is definitely harming my body.

Don't have false gods: I choose to put my desire for food--desire borne out of rebellion--before my desire for God.

Have you read the Hunger Games? There is a point where the opulent Capitol people-those indulging and living a lush life with no thought to consequence have a big party and the only way to enjoy and try every kind of food is by eating tons of food, then taking a pill to throw it up so that they can just keep eating. I thought it a very apt commentary on our culture--we crave the most we can get even when it harms us. We stuff our faces because we irrationally fear it won't be there tomorrow. What little faith we have in a big God. What a selfish life I lead to think that.

Cheerful food for thought, huh:)?


(Alyssa Peiser also writes on  "the gypsy cook" , so check her out!)

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