Last night for my birthday, my friends took me to ‘Ohana, a Hawaiian themed restaurant at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. This place has amazing reviews, and I’ve always wanted to go.
It did not disappoint.
The food is served family style, and it’s all you can eat–so basically like an endless buffet, but you don’t have to leave your seat to refill your plate.
The delicious food kept coming, so naturally we all just kept eating and eating and eating.
Then we realized, “Oh my goodness, there is still dessert!” We threw in the towel on the chicken wings and pork dumplings and beef and shrimp skewers.
There was no room for that Bread Pudding a la mode with Banana Caramel sauce, but we didn’t care. We made room and then asked for a little more.
Then it hit us. The inevitable aftermath of eating way too much food. We were in a food-coma, and I think they had to roll us out of the restaurant.
“Why did we eat so much? Because it was soooo good, but now I’m so full.”
Now mind you, we don’t regret anything. That food was delicious. But it was a special occasion–our bodies (and our wallets) could not handle a night like this as a regular occurrence.
I praise God that he decided to make food enjoyable–but he didn’t decide to make food infinitely enjoyable. You cannot consistently overindulge yourself with food (or pretty much any other earthly pleasures God’s given us) without harmful side effects.
And yet, God did make our hearts with a infinite longing to be filled and satisfied. Personally, I’ve looked for that satisfaction in food or friends or my job or money…the list could go on.
Our hearts constantly want more.
But trying to satisfy our longing with food or money or our job or how many friends we have will never give fulfillment–in fact, it will leave us feeling more empty.
You know what God does give us that is infinitely and inexhaustibly enjoyable? HIMSELF.
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Psalm 34:8, ESV)
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence if fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11, ESV)
I’ve personally been camping out in Ephesians lately, Paul’s prayer in chapter 3 is simply beautiful:
“That according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith–that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly that all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:16-21, ESV, emphasis mine)
Guys, this is a big deal. The God of the universe created our hearts with an infinite longing, and only he can fulfill it–and he wants to!
This is something that I’m still trying to wrap my mind around, and I don’t know that I ever will. He is so good! And when I stop getting distracted by silly things and come to him to satisfy my hungry soul–He fills me.
And not a lamenting man-I-regret-eating-this-much kind of full; but a this is amazing and I’m completely satisfied but at the same time want more kind of full.
So my challenge to you (and myself) today and tomorrow and the next day is to stop spending so much time trying to fill yourself with the internet or Netflix or your job.
Open your Bible* and read it because that’s where you’ll find God. Ask God to strengthen your desire to know him. And you’ll find the more you spend time with him, the more you’ll be satisfied and at the same time want more–and he always delivers.
*The Bible is a big book, and it intimidates me. When I’m intimidated or overwhelmed, my initial response is to want to curl up in my bed and not do anything. This may not be the case with you, but if it is, I encourage you to start by just picking one book and then read. Maybe the Gospel of John or one of Paul’s letters like Ephesians or Colossians. Ask God to give you a love for his Word. And I pray that you find the more your read it, the more you’ll want to read it.