Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive…” ACTS 27:33-34
Food – so nourishing, so good, so delightful. How can we forget to eat? And yet it can happen.
It’s happened to me (not very often as I’ve spent a good part of my life battling my weight). It happened when I went through a terrible crisis way back in my twenties. I was in such an anxious state that I didn’t want to eat anything -- not even chocolate! And then it happened when I went through a wrenching upheaval in my relationship with one of my children four years ago. Again, nothing tasted good to me and I would forget to eat.
And during those times, I can recall that those around me who loved me would say something like what the apostle Paul said to those on board the storm-tossed ship: “Come on, Ellie, you need to eat, to keep up your strength…”
But food’s not all we need. We human beings are complex creatures. We need more than nourishment for our bodies. Just as much -- no really more -- we need nourishment for our souls. Recently as I was recounting to a friend how troubled and worried I was about the demands and the uncertainties of my employment situation, she stopped me and gently urged me to eat -- that is to eat the spiritual food that I was obviously starving for.
“Why don’t you try praying more?” she said.
My friend is right. I’m forgetting to eat.
Prayer – so nourishing, so good, so delightful. How can I forget to pray? And yet it happens. “Prayer is not asking for good things. It’s going to where they are.” (my favorite quote about prayer.) When I pray I am going to where the good things are, I’m going to where I will find all the spiritual food I will ever need.
And if I pray, even should my job fail, should the economy falter, should the nation fall, then, even then, I will survive, I will live, I will thrive. And then, even then, I will have the strength, the courage, the love I will need to reach out to others, to share with them, to help them, too, to survive, to live, to thrive.
Today's Post is by Ellie Shumaker. Ellie writes a monthly devotional she publishes via email. This post is from her June 2010 edition, and is published here with permission. Ellie is a Christian, a writer and a family counselor. To subscribe to Ellie's monthly devotional, you may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to tell her Chatty Kelly sent you.