Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight. Psalm 119:143
When a person hears bad news, he often loses his appetite. He feels sick to his stomach and what once appealed to his senses holds little value. Friends and family encourage him to eat something to keep up his strength. One of the first questions we ask someone in fresh grief is, “When is the last time you ate something?”
Pain can do that to my spiritual appetite, too. If I am seized with anguish and doubled over in pain, it doesn’t seem possible that my soul could delight in anything. Yet, in the midst of sorrow, God promises to feed me a banquet from his table. Even in the presence of my enemies, the table is laden with spiritual food. God doesn’t scale back the meal with the equivalent of a bowl of soup when His children are bent low. He only enlarges what we will consume.
You might be asking, “What if I’m not hungry? What if I have no desire to consume Living Bread today? What if I’m in such a hopeless place that a bunch of words on paper don’t appear to me to be any kind of banquet for a ravaged soul?” My answer comes from experience. “Force feed.” Never am I in greater danger of the effects of spiritual malnutrition than when God’s spiritual provision has lost its appeal.
So is the Word of God the spiritual meal? Am I just given a bunch of words to hang onto? Is this all I can anticipate when it feels like life has fallen apart? I forget that God IS the Word. He IS the meal. It is He who speaks His Word into my ear. It is He who holds me tenderly as He does. It is He who can multi-task; comforting me in a seeming suspension of time while, simultaneously, working behind the scenes to work my pain for my good and His glory. I can’t see what He’s doing yet but that’s okay. I’m lost in the sound of His voice and the soothing promises that bathe my soul in His peace.
In whatever ways I have shut down from life, stir my heart to experience the delights You have promised. Keep the pains of this life from dulling my spiritual appetite. Amen