About midway through a long road trip with a van full of fatigued travelers, an empty gas tank prompted us to pull into a convenience store to fill up and stretch one last time before embarking on the last leg of our journey. Assuming that there was no dinner plan in place, after hitting the restroom, one of my kids make a quick detour to check out the snack aisle in the store. Without asking, he pulled out a few of his own dollars and made a quick purchase to fill the empty void. He stuffed his mouth quickly and was wiping his chin by the time he made it across the parking lot and back into his place in the van.
A few minutes later, Clif returned to the car, carrying a piping hot array of tasty food for all of us. Everyone was glad for the welcome surprise… everyone except the snack-sneaking kid who now regretted his hasty purchase. He’d simultaneously depleted his scant money, filled his stomach, and now had no room to really enjoy the provisions that were provided for him by his father.
Do you see yourself in that story?
Have you ever been so sure that God had forgotten about your needs that you provided what you thought you needed, only to regret your ‘purchase’ later?
Often when we have legitimate needs that seem to go unfilled for too long, we assume that if we don’t provide for ourselves then we’ll just have to ‘do without.’ Instead of having faith in the timing of our Heavenly Father, we interpret even the smallest delays as a lack of concern on His part. So, we jump in to fill the gap and deplete our own limited resources in a futile effort to reduce the ache in our souls, never realizing the far more satisfying provision God has prepared for us… if we will only wait.
Jesus addressed our concerns about this perceived gap, reminding us that our assurance in times of waiting rests in the character of our Father. He said, “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matt. 7:9-11)
Scripture repeatedly warns us against filling ourselves on the junk food of the world and instead urges us to trust the Lord to fulfill His promise to generously and freely provide good gifts that truly nourish and satisfy. (Is. 55:1-3)
So, the next time you feel hunger pains in your soul, stay put. Resist the temptation to make a rushed decision that will drain your resources and ultimately leave you only temporarily satisfied. Be confident in the promises of Christ and draw on His limitless resources to provide the only food that fills the deep longings of the soul.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more
and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure
and blameless for the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ
—to the glory and praise of God.