This time of year, I always think back to the arts and crafts festival that was held in Fort Gaines, GA the Saturday before Thanksgiving. My high school choir would perform every year and after our performance, I would sneak off to find an apple dumpling. It is one the most delicious things I have ever put in my mouth! I have been to several arts and crafts festivals this fall with an appetite for an apple dumpling, but so far no luck.
Cravings are like that aren’t they? When our taste buds experience something as wonderful as that apple dumpling or Mama’s home cooking, we never lose the appetite for it. Even after decades of having that delectable dish, we don’t tire of it. If anything, our appetite for it grows even stronger. Several years ago I baked a pineapple pound cake for my Daddy’s birthday that his grandmother made for him as a child. He enjoyed that cake as much as he did reliving the stories of this Grandmother.
I dare say the desire for the foods we know and love have just as much to do with the people, the atmosphere and the experiences surrounding them. Developing an appetite for Christ is much like those longings we have for food memories. See, when we live with Christ in the center of our lives, everything we experience becomes an encounter with Him. We begin to see the people in our lives as souls God sent our way. Even the things we once didn’t think mattered much become part of our greater purpose. And even our difficulties and loss seem to be opportunities that highlight God’s goodness and faithfulness.
When our experiences are bathed in our relationship with God, we begin to create an appetite for Christ. It is not possible to crave something we have never tasted before. Because I have experienced God in different ways, I crave that same encounter again and again. I have an appetite for God’s Word to speak directly into my circumstances the way He has time and time again. I desire worship that is pure and undistracted from the things of this world like I have experienced before. I crave prayer time where the Holy Spirit leads me to pray for things not even on my agenda. I long for spiritual dreams only God gives.
There are a million dishes that God has set before me in the past and I want to partake of them again and again. Developing an appetite for Christ happens one day at a time. Feasting on his grace is something He desires too. Each time he feeds his lambs he stirs in us an appetite for the eternal; we learn not to get too wrapped up in the things we can see, but we get to a place where we are more focused on what lies beyond this life.
“Oh taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him.” Psalms 34:8
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth.” Psalms 119:103