For years, I believed my body wasn’t good enough and needed changing. I thought being beautiful and thin according to worldly standards would fill my cup and nurse my wounds. I struggled with everything from eating disorders to dieting to comfort eating to thinking a number on the scale would make me happier. But none of that satisfied me; not in a lasting way.
I was hungry for more—more love, acceptance, approval, attention, happiness…
But I was trying to fill the void my own way, in part, because I knew no other way. I was like Eve in the Garden of Eden who was deceived by the enemy. She believed the lie that she could have more by biting into the apple, even though God’s instructions were crystal clear.
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
~ Genesis 3:1-5 (ESV)
As a woman, I’ve struggled with being content with my appearance, my relationships, and the reality of how my life looks versus how I envisioned it would be. If I’m honest, there’s something in me that craves more, but for me to even admit that often comes with a side of guilt. Sometimes as Christians we’re repetitively taught to be grateful and count our blessings—and we should. Gratitude is beautiful.
But we’re born into a fallen world and not one of us is untouched by sin and its effects. We’re going to wrestle with something. We’re going to feel tension. We’re going to ache and when we do—
How will we cope? Will we struggle in the dark or in the arms of our Deliverer? Will we bite into the apple or run to God?
Satan’s in the business of using our longings to lead us astray, especially when we’re most vulnerable, and he’s an expert at disguising evil as something good.
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate…
~ Genesis 3:6 (ESV)
It’s not a question of if we will do battle in this world, but rather how will we fight the raging battle?
There’s only one way that leads to life. There’s only one King who leads His people to victory.
We will always hunger for more in this world because we were designed to taste the goodness of the Kingdom of God. While the enemy tries to convince us to fill that hunger with empty food, that longing for something more can actually push us closer to something good—closer to God Himself—the One who truly satisfies. To hunger for God and His Kingdom is a healthy hunger, a holy hunger. And because of that hunger, how much more beautiful will the day be when we get to see Him face to face?
When we struggle with contentment, it is our choice in how we respond, just like Adam and Eve had a choice in the garden long ago: bite into the apple or run to God. Listen to the lies or trust the Truth by being nourished with God’s Word.
One way leads to death, the other to abundant life.
And the Lord will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.
~Isaiah 58:11 (ESV)
What we’re really hungry for is deep intimacy with God, and when we begin to understand that, it changes everything.