By Aveline Yap
Mac and cheese, pizza, burgers, ice cream, chocolate – can you guess which category of food these fall under?
Yes, COMFORT (junk) FOOD!
We don’t have to be qualified nutritionists to know that these foods are definitely not the healthy-goodie-ones. Nevertheless, we often find ourselves indulging in some when we’re down and stressed because it makes us feel good in the moment. That’s why they’re called comfort food.
What are you consuming?
“What are you consuming on a daily basis?”
Something I felt the Lord asking me recently. I started to reflect on it, and wondered if I had been consuming comfort/junk food, spiritually?
Especially when faced with uncertainty, what do I indulge in – faith or fear?
To tell you the truth, I find myself indulging in my emotions of fear because, admittedly, it’s a lot easier to fear and worry in times of stress than to tell myself not to because God’s got it all planned out. As I reflected on this, I realised that my fears had become my comfort food. And maybe for some of us, comfort food could come in other forms – insecurity, validation from people, etc.
But the truth is, what we choose to consume is what will become of us (eventually). The more we consume unhealthy food, the more it affects our physical health. The more we consume spiritually unhealthy food, the more it affects our spiritual health.
Could the reason we feel we’re stuck in endless uphill battles be that we’ve been feeding ourselves the wrong food? Do we feel empty inside because we’ve been feeding on things that only bring temporary satisfaction, instead of feeding on Him who truly satisfies?
If you’ve been struggling with this area of your life, I would love to share 3 simple handles that I’ve learnt through my journey that I hope will encourage and help you.
If you’ve read about nutrition, you would have probably heard this term before - the ‘80/20 rule’. If you want a balanced diet, you can use this rule as a guide: at least 80% of our diet should consist of healthier foods.
Similarly, one thing that helps me is to reflect on what I am exposing myself to 80% of the time - especially in my thought life!
Research shows that in a day, an average person has more than 6000 thoughts (that’s madness)! But only a fraction of them stay in our head. And so, one question to ask ourselves is - what thoughts am I allowing to dwell?
Below are two powerful quotes from one of my favourite books, ‘Battlefield of the Mind’ by Joyce Meyer.
“One of the greatest revelations of my life is: I can choose my thoughts and think things on purpose. In other words, I don’t have to just think about whatever falls into my mind.”
“Remember, you become what you think. Think discouraging thoughts, and you’ll get discouraged.”
A million thoughts may pass our mind, but we have the power to choose what we want to dwell on. And those are what will shape our actions, attitudes, faith, and spiritual health.
Another revelation that I’ve gained through my journey is the power of meditating on the Word of God. We all know that the Word of God is essential and foundational in our relationship with God. But there is a difference between reading the Word, and meditating on the Word!
Maybe some of us have been reading a chapter of the Bible, writing down what speaks to us, and then forgetting about it the next day. I’m definitely guilty of it. But when we start to meditate on His Word and let what we have received sink deep into our hearts, and repeat it to ourselves over and over again (meditation is about repetition), we start to live out His Word and allow what God says - not what the world tells us or what we tell ourselves - to be absolute truth.
As the body needs to digest food to absorb all its nutrients, let us digest God’s Word to absorb it into our spirit.
Exodus 16 describes how God provided the Israelites with manna that fell from the sky to sustain them in the desert. He specifically commanded them to not store the manna from the previous day as He will provide them with new ones every day. Some obeyed, while others chose to submit to their doubts and stored the manna, which began to rot the next day.
From this story, it showed two different groups of people: One group obeyed the command because they acknowledged God as their Source of all things and focused on Him. They knew that God would do what He said He would. The other group focused on their circumstances, which resulted in them doubting God’s promise.
Which group do we belong to? What have we been focusing on?
If we’ve been the latter, I pray that today we will choose to shift our focus back to God the Source. And as you do that, you’ll start to realise that no matter what may come, you will always be more than a conqueror through God. He is fighting for you, He is a Promise-Keeper, a Miracle-Worker, and truly nothing is impossible for Him!