|By kmkendall | 23 Sep 2010|
The title was bold and big in the newspaper…EAT...PRAY...LOVE. The article began with the following paragraph: The influence of Elizabeth Gilbert's literary travelogue, Eat Pray Love, now a movie starring Julia Roberts, continues to spread. It's impacting fall home décor by increasing sales of imports as home accents, according to local designers and national trend reports.
Out of curiosity I looked at the back cover of the book online and read a few reviews and found out that Elizabeth Gilbert had had a broken heart and had fallen into a dark place personally. So, she went on a search for God by visiting three places to try to find her heart again. She thought she might find God through eating and enjoying simple pleasures in Italy (EAT). Then she traveled to India to try to practice spiritual devotion (PRAY) and after that she was in Indonesia to try to find overall life balance with love (LOVE).
As I thought about Gilbert's search, my mind began thinking about scriptures that do indeed teach us to EAT...PRAY...LOVE. But how are we instructed by the one and only God?
In Psalm 81:10 the LORD says that He had told His people to open their mouths wide and then He would fill them. The LORD was the one that wanted to fill them. And Jesus tells us that we can't live by bread alone, but we must live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Many down through the ages have discovered the joy of this truth. Remind yourself of the testimony of Job: I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Picture the scene with Jeremiah as described in Jeremiah 1:9: Then the LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, "Behold, I have put My words in your mouth." The touch was meant to inspire and empower.And how did Jeremiah respond? Jeremiah 15:16 says that he ate them and that those words became for him a joy and the delight of his heart. You and I will discover with joy many things about our LORD as we appropriate His words into our daily living. We are the ones that decide if we are going to chew on His words so that they abide deep inside us and bring us joy and delight. In this verse the LORD is referred to as the LORD of hosts. What a blessed name this is because it tells us that our God is the one who has the resources to do what is impossible. Incredibly, we find this name 83 times in Jeremiah's 52 chapters. This name is God's name for those who find their resources inadequate in the midst of a struggle, for those who have come to the end of their strength and need deliverance. This name meets failure. Maybe you, like Elizabeth Gilbert, are in a dark time. Try to EAT, but eat God's Word until you experience the presence of the Almighty, the LORD of hosts, the only one who can fill your emptiness with His resources.
We also learn from Jeremiah to PRAY. As God's people receive the word that they must go into captivity because they had turned to idols, they also received the encouragement that they would return to the land. Jeremiah 29:11 says that as God thinks or, as the Hebrew indicates, deliberates, He is working out or weaving together a good plan that is full of hope. For the people to discover this plan, Jeremiah 29:12 says that they would pray to Him - to Him. Emphasize to Him in your thinking. And we can be assured that God is listening because the words that we are "eating" right now in v. 12 tell us that. And God cannot be less than God. Recently, I purchased an off-brand of peanut butter. I knew as soon as I opened the jar that I had something less than the kind of peanut butter I like. Let's read the statement again and think about it for our lives: God cannot be less than God, and you do not have any situation He can't handle. It is to Him that we must PRAY. Elizabeth Gilbert went on a search. You can, too; search the mind of God in prayer, and according to Jeremiah 33:3, you'll discover that God will tell you unsearchable things.
Perhaps you, too, have a broken heart that needs healing. Deuteronomy 30:16 teaches "to love the LORD your God" with every piece of that heart "…that the LORD your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it." So, LOVE God and receive God's lavish and unfailing and everlasting and healing LOVE, and you'll have a balance in your life that will bless you and bless others.
There's no better place to EAT...PRAY...LOVE than in your small Living Free groups. May you be blessed in your eating, praying, and loving.