My Plate or His Plate

Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear.  Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:25; 33-34)

Somedays I wake up and the first thought in my head is food.  It may just be plans of what I’m making for dinner, but often it’s frustration over the way I ate the day before, or how I’m going to eat healthy today.  I don’t know where the thoughts came from, but they are so often on what I have already eaten, what I will eat, or what I can’t eat that food takes first place in my thinking.

This scripture from Matthew doesn’t give us God’s suggestion, it’s in the form of a command when he says “…do not worry…” about my life, what I’m going to eat and drink, even about my body or what I will wear.  Life is more important than food.  Or is it?

Food is big business for the producers of food (or pretend food that’s more processed chemicals than real food) and restaurants, as well as those that want to “help us” eat healthy, look good, impress the right people, wear the right clothes.  Big business translates to more money for them, more insecurity for us.  And it seems that many people, myself included, focus on those insecurities and in turn worry so much about food that we do exactly as we don’t want to do.  We eat too much or too little, we eat the wrong food, we eat too often or not often enough and then we allow our thoughts to dwell on how we’ve failed.  Then of course our thoughts turn to our less-than-perfect bodies that show the result of that food focus.

Food can be all tangled up in our heads as comfort, security, and the “answer” to so many problems.  Food makes us feel better…but it’s complicated for most of us.  So complicated, in fact, that we don’t even know where it comes from; and if we do, we don’t dwell on it.  We just eat another cookie!

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people that just eats to survive.  Not in an unhealthy way in the sense of an eating disorder, just a person that sees food as a substance that they need to take in to have energy to get through their day, not as the only way to get through a day.  But when I keep my focus on eating, when I seek food satisfaction first, food will always be my god.  Food will be what my thoughts and actions revolve around, what sustains me, what fills and comforts me.

That’s not what I want for myself and it’s not what God wants for me.

Today I will make a choice to seek His kingdom and His righteousness.  I will choose not to worry about tomorrow, but just today.

Heavenly Father, You are the answer, the comfort, the solution to everything I will face today.  Holy Spirit, I pray that You will keep my eyes on Jesus, not on myself and certainly not on food.  You, Lord, are my sustainer, not the food that I will take in today.  Food is a gift from You.  Food is a blessing to my body to give me energy and health, but it does not fill me the way that You do, Jesus.  Help me to use food as a tool to sustain my body to do your work, not as the answer to my problems or my happiness.  In the powerful name of Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Stacey Ray

Stacey has been married to Rex for 25 years and together they parent four sons ages 17 to 23. Stacey has a passion to help people become the best that they can be and she currently does that as a community college instructor in psychology and human development. Originally from California, Stacey and her family currently make their home in northern Minnesota where they are actively involved in their church’s mission of seeing real people make real change. Stacey’s current favorite quote is: “To be significant, all you have to do is make a difference with others wherever you are, with whatever you have, day by day.” (John Maxwell, “Intentional Living”).

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