Physical appetites and cravings are an obvious part of our everyday lives. But what do our minds, hearts, and souls crave?
While my family eats healthy meals most days, I still get a hankering for kettle-style potato chips, Cherry 7-Up, and warm chocolate chip cookies on a pretty regular basis. Physical appetites and cravings are an obvious part of our everyday lives. But what does your mind, heart, and soul crave?
I confess that Christ, His Word, and His ways have not always been what my mind, heart, and soul craved. But I can tell you that my longings have changed.
And it's reading and studying the Bible that changed them.
Your Past, Present, and Future . . .
Looking to my more distant past, the Bible would not have topped my list of can't-live-without items. Not when I was a child growing up in a Christian home. Not when I was a student at a Christian college. Not even when I was a newlywed. While I've had teaching from and access to the Bible all of my life, I did not always treasure, crave, read, and study God's Word.
But when I was a brand-new mom, I began to realize two crucial things. First, I realized my Bible study habits around that time were floundering at best. I had two years worth of Bible study workbooks with a lot of empty blanks and scribbly lines running down the pages from where I fell asleep with a pen in my hand. And second, I saw my intense need for wisdom, purpose, and direction.
I remember laying my tiny daughter in her crib one afternoon and collapsing against the wall just outside her room. It wasn't just from exhaustion. The weight of the responsibility of caring for, teaching, training, guiding, and leading my little girl was what made my knees buckle that day. I knew in my own strength and wisdom, I would never be enough.
So one very early morning after I had nursed my daughter and was waiting to see if she would stay asleep after I laid her down, I decided to redeem the time by studying my Bible. And as I continued that pattern during those first few months of her life, I found my desire for God's Word growing. Right there in the middle of that unlikely season of life, I found a time when I would consistently read and study the Bible, and I had an increasing need and desire to read and study God's Word.
He Brings the Increase . . .
Then after adding two more children to our family, we moved to a new state. There were many lonely, tiring days as I cared for three tiny kiddos (with a fourth on the way) in the midst of a new city without many friends and no family nearby. As I prayed for friendship and connection, I found the biggest part of my answer was Christ. I saw my need for a deeper, more all-encompassing relationship with Him. Desires and depth that couldn't be filled through a friend—only a Savior.
So I kept that consistent early morning time in the Word, and as my need and desire increased, the depth at which I studied increased, too. I was digging in. I discovered either for the first time or in new ways chunks of Scripture and topics that were truly astounding me. I found myself wanting to know more about things I read.
Then that early morning time in the Word wasn't enough. I started looking for creative ways I could learn more in the midst of my growing family and busy days. I listened to podcasts from pastors and Bible teachers while I vacuumed or exercised. I talked more with my husband and friends about spiritual things and what I was learning. I found new ways to teach my kids about Jesus and how to praise Him together.
Of course I failed miserably sometimes. Still do. Weariness and sin often came. But because I have established the discipline of time with my Father in the Word and my desires have changed, I more quickly want out of that sin. I know who to call on for strength and perseverance. I have maintained a constant prayer over the past several years that God will continue to give me the desire—the craving—for Him and His Word. There are many things we pray about that we don't know what God's answer will be. But when you pray for Him to increase your desire for Him and His Word, you can be certain His answer is "yes."
I praise God for that yes. I can testify that the appetites of my heart, mind, and soul have been transformed by the Word of God. I have experienced the reality of 1 Peter 2:2–3. I have tasted that the Lord is good. I desire pure spiritual milk and have seen growth. And this not of myself, but by the power of God's Word through obedience to Him. I had a desire. I found a time. I craved depth. And He answered through His Word.
What does your mind, heart, and soul crave? Where will you find satisfaction?
By Heidi Jo Fulk