When I was young, I might ask for a snack at 4 o’clock and my mom would say “No we are going to eat at 5, and you don’t want to spoil your dinner.”  And yet maybe I did want to spoil my dinner.  We might be having liver and onions that night. 

But what was she trying to communicate – that the roast would become toast if I ate a cookie?

That wasn’t it.  She just wanted to take my appetite and direct it towards dinner, rather than allow it to be fooled by a snack.  She was concerned with what I needed, not what I wanted.

Sometimes I wonder if God does not parent us in the same way. 

As we age, our bodies show the scars of time.  I can still see the discolored spot in the heel of my hand where I accidentally punctured it with a pencil in Junior High School. 

The physical aches and the pains from the breaks and the strains of the past catch up with us.  They become the eventual cause of knee and hip replacements.  Aleve can relieve some of it, but there is much left to courageously endure. 

The only time I feel really good these days is right after a colonoscopy.  That anesthetic is amazing. 

Our aches and pains create somewhat of an appetite – to be healed and pain free.  That becomes our pet prayer, doesn’t it?  “God I just want to sleep without that shoulder pain tonight, would you please help me?”  But God sometimes says, “I could give you a snack, but it will spoil your dinner.”  

He used the apostle Paul to explain.  In 2 Cor 5:1-3 Paul compared the human body to a tent that is breaking down.  He wrote, “For we know that if our earthly house, the tent we live in, is dismantled, we have a building from God, a house not built by human hands, that is eternal in the heavens.  For in this earthly house we groan, because we desire to put on our heavenly dwelling…”

Paul wanted us to know that it is standard operating procedure for the human body to break down over time.  We can thank Adam and Eve for that legacy. 

But he went on to argue that the sad state of our bodies, creates in us an appetite for an eternal home, not built by human hands.  He says, “we groan – with desire” for that time when we will be given glorified bodies in heaven – where we will be forever pain free.  

That’s what we really need, and our bodies desire it.  They groan for it. 

I’ll tell you – that hour between 4 and 5 was tough.  I had been playing all day, and my body had burned every calorie over twice.  I was in pain – hunger pain.  Didn’t my mom care about that? 

Sure, she did, but she also knew that the pain would be brief.   At 5 she would serve up a fantastic meal that would satisfy both my appetite and the nutritional needs of my body. 

But hey it’s OK to pray for healing too.  The apostle John wrote to those he loved and he said, “I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.” –  3 John 2

It isn’t inappropriate to ask for a snack.   But don’t let it ruin your appetite.

A PRAYER: O Lord give us the grace we need to suffer through the present and help us fix our hope on what is to come. 

This has been Jim Johnson and pickleheavnpress.com

May the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you 

Scripture references are from NETBible.org ®