The great London preacher Charles Spurgeon has once been remembered to say, “There is hardship in everything except eating pancakes.” As a heavier set man himself, we can only imagine that Mr. Spurgeon enjoyed God’s gift of food. On one hand, there is much to be said about gluttony (especially in light of Thanksgiving), but on the other hand there is much to be said about our delight in what God has given us.
God created us with a desire to eat. Our bodies do not function correctly without the proper nutrition. God has indeed made our bodies crave a meal three times a day. “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, In a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1). Psalm 34:8 says, “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” The Lord’s Supper is a sacrament that involves the connection between food and our spiritual feasting upon God. Scripture tells us that there will be a great feast in heaven (Matthew 8:11). We can also notice that Jesus sat down and had many meals with many people (Luke 9:12-17; 10:38-42; Matthew 9:10-13). So, what is with this connection between food and drink with the living God?
Have we ever thought about the connection between our meals and our spiritual life? Have you ever thought about how many times you have said or thought “I am hungry”? If the average life expectancy is 78 years, and we eat an average of three meals a day (considering breakfast, lunch, and dinner), then we will average around 85,410 meals in our lifetime. I can only imagine that some of you don’t want me to also consider the average amount of calories we might consume in our lifetime as well (maybe around an average of 187 million).
Well, 85,000+ meals is a lot of eating. That’s 85,000+ times that your body will feel an urge to eat. But we know from God’s Word that “life is more than food” (Luke 12:23). Maybe our constant “hunger” is meant to point us to our even greater spiritual hunger. Imagine if you became spiritually hungry every day for an average of three times a day. Let’s say you became a Christian when you were 20 and that you live until you’re 75. That would mean that you become spiritually hungry over 60,000 times in your lifetime (not to mention the constant desire for God for an eternity in heaven). We can also wonder about how well nourished we are spiritually if we are to feast upon God at least as much as we feast on food. Do you feel yourself as being that hungry for God? When you wake up in the morning and grab your coffee or tea or juice, do you then feel yourself become thirsty for the spiritual water brooks? Do you feel as the psalmist in Psalm 42, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2a)?
There is definitely a connection between our faith and our craving God. We can even examine our hearts and ask ourselves whether we truly crave God or not. Do you wake up and hunger for the living Word of God or is it merely a discipline? Do you go about your day thirsty for the water that eternally satisfies you or do you feel fine by not eating of the Bread of Life (John 4:14; 6:35)?
Skipping a meal is no way as significant compared to skipping out on daily communion with God. It is a sin to not drink deeply of God. It is a sin to have more of a desire for the world than for God. Jeremiah 2:13 says, “For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew out cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” When we sin, we do two things at once: We forsake God and we cherish the world. The great evil in this is that we forsake the only One who can truly satisfy us (Psalm 90:14) to attempt to satisfy ourselves with the world, which can never fill us (Isaiah 55:2).
The worth of God is that He is so desirable that even if we feasted upon Him 85,000+ times we will still desire more of Him. This is one of the many paradoxes of our faith. It only takes one time to taste and see that the LORD is good but after we taste and see, we then want to drink deeply from His well (Isaiah 12:3). When we come to know God, we simultaneously fear Him and we draw near to Him in confidence. There is a great mystery happening in our souls when we draw near to God. The common thread amongst true Christians is that once they taste Him, they only desire to know Him more and more (Luke 24:32). When someone truly sees the immeasurable riches of His glory, they cannot but worship Him. As Samuel Rutherford said, “I cannot but love Him.”
Put all trees, all flowers, all smells, all colours, all tastes, all joys, all sweetness, all loveliness in one. O, what a fair and excellent thing that would be! And yet it would be less to that fair and dearest Well-Beloved Christ, than one drop of rain to the whole seas, rivers, lakes, and fountains of ten thousand earths.
Have you truly tasted the glories of Jesus Christ? Have you felt yourself longing to know Him more deeply? When you have met Him in prayer, have you felt yourself longing to pray more? When you have read His Word, have you felt yourself refreshed in His truth? Only Jesus Christ is glorious enough to change us like this. Only the Holy Spirit can work inside us to make us long for the riches of this feast. It only takes one drink of the Lord Jesus Christ to be satisfied with His love. It only takes one feast of the Triune God to cause you to never want to leave the table again. There is only One who can satisfy you and who desires to satisfy you. Oh, what a great Thanksgiving this will be for you who know and feast upon the Lord Jesus Christ!