“Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm.”
–Matthew 8:23-26
Most Americans have resorted to comfort food at least once in their lives. This often happens when they have had an upsetting or emotional day.
I can think of a time in my own life when I took refuge in food. As I was going through a long period of stress, I tried to drown my sorrows in a half-gallon of ice cream. I ate the whole thing in one sitting.
Of course I felt somewhat ashamed after that. I try to eat more nutritious foods now, and I only enjoy comfort foods, such as cold pizza for breakfast, once in a while. (By the way, if you’ve never tried cold pizza, you haven’t lived!)
But there’s something different about the proverbial midnight snack. It isn’t like any other meal, since it’s enjoyed during the late hours. While I can’t speak from experience, I am told that people who raid the refrigerator at night, will often feel encouraged to mix up weird food concoxions while nobody is watching. For example, I have heard that some people enjoy scrambled eggs coated with sugar. But honestly, that combo makes my stomach churn, so I thought I’d play it safe. I’m just an ordinary guy, so maybe something like peanut butter and ketchup will do the trick. What do you think?
While I have to admit that midnight snacking can be fun, we are often driven to the fridge by underlying problems in our lives. I have found that snacking doesn’t offer any permanent solutions. In fact, snacking only makes the problem worse most of the time. While I might physically feel satisfied, the inner emptiness is still there, and the food I have turned to in my hour of need has only left me wanting more food instead of filling me up.
Instead of looking to comfort food or a midnight snack, why not turn to something much more substancial? I am talking about choosing God’s peace over an upset stomach.
Just as I have described the snacks above, let’s describe God’s peace, so it can become more of a reality in your life.
We see in the scriptures that Jesus said His peace was not like the peace of the world. What did He mean by this? God’s peace is not the absence of conflict. It is the assurance that He is walking through the conflict with us.
This is important, for when you watch a news broadcast or read an article, peace is usually spoken of in terms of treaties and disarmament. But true peace with Jesus is a matter of the heart, and instead of rebellion against God, it speaks of the restoration of a close relationship with Him.
So while things may not always feel great, one secret is not to depend upon your feelings. Instead, learn to depend upon the one who gave them to you.
Another secret that I have found useful, is to fill your mind with some positive affirmations from God’s Word. Take this seriously and search Google for some Bible verses. Here are a couple favorites: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31) Or, “with God, all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Let me illustrate this point by using the story of David and Goliath. This story speaks to me about how we choose to face the problems that loom so large in our everyday lives.
As you may recall, David was a young boy who was sent to see how his brothers were, and how the battle was going. When David wanted to fight the giant, Saul tried to discourage him, but David had his mind fixed on the one who could deliver him. In short, he was controlled by God’s peace.
To me, the words and actions of Saul speak of the way the world will try to discourage us. So while your giants may not have become any smaller, your concept of God will have grown larger.
If you read the Bible, it often talks about God blessing a person by making Himself visible at the midnight hour. This is often when we panic because things seem out of control, but they really aren’t. Like someone who is working on the next set of a play, God has always been busy behind the scenes.
So our challenge is to follow Him more closely, and increase our own spiritual vision. We do this by yielding to God at every turn, even when we don’t understand all the bumps and bends in the road. In this way, the giants in our lives are easier to tackle, and we can face problems that may have otherwise defeated us with new confidence. The knowledge that God is on the throne of our lives can only help us move forward.
Oh yes, the waves of trial may still be high, but Jesus can quiet the storm in your heart, and the great calm He brings will allow you to see more clearly. Instead of relying on a midnight snack, God is calling all of us to walk with Him in a new way. He wants us to know that we can rely on Him even when the hour seems late, and things seem impossible.
We now see through a glass darkly, but then we will know as we are known. By living life in this way, God will give you new strength to face the giants in your life, and come what may, His peace can bless you above your own understanding.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870. Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Monday night Bible study or Tuesday night prayer meeting. Both are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 5:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 712-775-7031, and our ID is 607518748. We hope to talk with you soon!
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