“All done!” Babesie shouts as she scoots away from the table and off on her own mission. Her little brother is quick to follow, leaving behind almost full plates of food. My kids never eat the balanced dinners I cook: choosing instead to go after the pantryful of snacks. It’s a battle I continually lose, and because I don’t want to waste that homemade food, I usually clean up their plates after having had most of my own. However, while my physical plate may be full, my spiritual meals can be a whole other story.

Sometimes I think our spiritual lives can be like our children’s meals. We know we should have a healthy serving of  protein (deep study of God’s word), lots of veggies (prayer and gratitude), and a little bit of daily bread (fellowship with other Christians). Oftentimes though, we find ourselves scraping together the leftovers, tossing them haphazardly onto our plates, and wolfing them down before we scramble out the door on the next errand, or after an errant child. Sometimes all we get is the bread, and sometimes we add fries and chocolate to the mix just to keep ourselves going. While that’s technically food, eventually you find yourself running on empty.

Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:13-14

When I’m hungry, I get short tempered and lazy. I have no energy to do anything other than indulge myself. I begin the selfishness cycle of “too tired/worn/bored with life” to serve my family, putting off my responsibilities in a purposeless pursuit of self.

This is not self-care (which is a needed and necessary part of our lives). This is a hungry daze of sullen un-spirituality.  When I am spiritually hungry, I am bereft, and I lose all sense of my ability to help myself or my family.  It sounds pretty hopeless right?

“I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” Psalm 119:15-16

If I was a hungry child, it would be hopeless. Too weak to fill my own plate, I would ultimately waste away. Here’s the good news: while I am a child of God, I am a full-grown adult Christian, and I have the ability and tools to get up off my metaphorical (and physical) bottom, open that refrigerator (the Bible), and fill my plate with what I know I need: meat, veggies, and hearty bread.  What’s more, I have good friends and family who will sometimes fill my plate for me, or at the very least, pass me a slice of bread so I have the energy to get going again.

Is your plate empty? What happens when your spiritual stomach growls? Where do you turn when you feel that rumbling, soul-shaking emptiness?

Mama, maybe it’s time to put down that tv-dinner, turn to the best food you know, and refill.

“For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 109:7

One thought on “The Empty Plate

  1. fogwood214 says:

    There are days (more than there probably should be!) where I neglect to open up my Bible. I get lost in the busy-ness of the day, the needs around me, and oh yeah I was going to drink tea while I read but it’s been brewing for 15 minutes so there went THAT plan.

    Getting a few minutes of quiet was really, really hard for a while, so during those times I resorted to desperate measures. I ditched what little homeschool curriculum I was using and the kiddos and I read passages together.

    We read the creation story over the first week, and lemmie tell you, if you think you know it, try reading it with an 8, 7, and 5 year old! I gleaned some new insights, and while it wasn’t a roast dinner, it was certainly chicken noodle soup and more than I’d had in a while.

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