By: Jordan Sparnroft
With Thanksgiving just a few days away, let’s talk about FOOD!
I love Double Stuff Oreos with milk, apple pie a-la-mode, chips and salsa, ice cream sandwiches, southern comfort food (if you know, you know). I mean, who doesn’t love all of this?! I am so thankful that God gave us the ability to taste different things. However, just with anything good God has made, there is the potential for worshiping the created thing instead of the Creator (Romans 1:25).
Most of us will be eating copious amounts of food this holiday season. Oddly enough, God has been tearing down my idol of food the past few weeks. To be quite honest: my joy, my hope, my comfort were all found in my next meal. In other words, I was in awe of food and the momentary comfort and joy it brought. As God has been tearing down this idol of food through means of self-control and discipline, the brokenness I had been suppressing emerged. Apparently food was masking a much bigger problem: my need to be comforted and filled with the Holy Spirit.
The grim circumstances of our world, my daughter’s spinal surgery, and the typical day-to-day stressors were starting to steal my joy. I relied on food to restore my joy and to be my comfort instead of the promises of God. As Deutoronomy 8:3 tells us; “…man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Romans 12:11-12 says; “Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Instead of serving God and others, I was serving my own need for comfort. Instead of rejoicing in hope, my conversations with my husband and my peers were saturated with negativity and complaints from the day. Instead of being patient in tribulation, my impatience took the form of a loud voice with a sharp tone toward my toddler. Instead of being constant in prayer, I found myself grasping for new idols to bring me the comfort and joy I so desperately needed. I was finding my awe in instagram and spending countless hours on Marco Polo chatting with friends. I was placing my hope in a well-behaved child, a completed list of tasks, a clean house… anything to soothe or disconnect myself from my stressors. I realized I had lost my awe of God and was not trusting that He was enough to get me through the tough moments of my day.
In my quiet time, I found myself praying, “God remind me of why I desire to honor you, why I meet with you every morning, why am I supposed to turn to you for my joy, strength, comfort, and hope.” I wanted to be in awe of Him again. I had forgotten Who it was that I called upon every morning and Who I strove to serve and worship and why. I quickly realized I was leaving out an important part of my quiet time: worship.
Worship is spending time with God for Who He is and for the sheer joy of just being in His presence. Worship is when the joy of my salvation is returned to my soul. Worship is when I see the big picture and things fall into their proper order beneath the weight of His glory. I need worship to be reminded of Who it is I serve, trust, and seek to know. I need to be reminded of
the gospel and what He did for me. I need to be humbled in His presence. As I approach my quiet time with God everyday, I want to be in awe of Him every time.
The Bible tells us that our human minds cannot fully comprehend the holiness and glory of God. However, God in His kindness gives us glimpses of His glory through His creation even in the midst of this broken world. My mind and heart crave such a glimpse. If I don’t feed that longing in my soul with intentional worship, I’ll start grasping at the good gifts I’ve been given. The gifts will then turn into idols that rule me because I am made to worship.
A lot of us (including myself) have already put up our Christmas decorations in hopes of finding some early comfort and joy in light of a very difficult year. We want to enter the wonder of the lights, the holiday traditions, the food, the presents, the joy on our children’s faces, the fun, family, and relationships of this holiday season. Let’s enjoy these things (especially the food!) without forgetting the One who has given us these beautiful things to have and experience. May we remember that these things will only provide momentary comfort. Within a couple of months the Christmas trees will return to dusty attics, the leftovers will be thrown out, the new presents will lose their novelty. God will be the same. Worship him. Thank Him. Let’s be thankful for all that He has given but more importantly let’s worship and rejoice in His character. Let us find our hope in Him and the salvation He has freely given. Before thanking God for all the relationships and things He’s given and provided you, choose a part of His character and meditate on it, let it permeate the depths of your heart, worship Him. Let Who He is be your comfort and joy. Be in awe of Him.
Jordan grew up on a farm located in a small town in Virginia. She married her NY native husband 8 years ago. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Jordan was a professional mental health therapist. Apart from raising her 2.5 year old daughter with a complex medical diagnosis, Jordan also teaches English to kids in China online. Through numerous trials involving grief and loss she endured in her 20s, Jordan fell more in love with Jesus and realizes her need for Him everyday. Her passion for studying God’s word and knowing Him more deeply grows with each passing day.