Feasting (Shirley Buzzoni)

Teen girl reading the Bible outdoors
I’m half Italian. Born there, raised here, Italian by tradition  especially regarding authentic Italian feasts. And while I totally enjoy everyone’s take on Italian food, when I’m craving the real thing – good ole Chef Boyardee just won’t do. (No offense to the Chef!) While I love my pasta, I can be temporarily satisfied with just one little Bacio Perugina, or a smidgen of Nutella. But please – No imitations!  I know and want the real thing!

The Word is true sustenance. Peter says that through the knowledge of Him is everything needed “for life and godliness” (and may I add, joy and delightful satisfaction!). Do you crave the real?

I remember one particular low point in my life. Emotions overwhelmed me like a torrent – I felt out of control. Nothing seemed to help. But in the midst of the raging storm words of life memorized long before swept over me & brought peace to my heart:

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“Therefore I hope in Him!”  Lamentations 3:22-24

Nothing meets the soul’s deepest yearnings like the Word of God pressed home by the Spirit of God. It speaks truth to the heart and ushers us into the presence of the Lord who has redeemed our life from the pit and who fills & satisfies our soul with only the best.

There are two things that I know can ruin the palate’s desire for authentic food. The first is sickness. The most delicious delicacies are unappealing when I’m really sick, just as the joy and discovery of truth is squelched by sin. Sin, without repentance, steals our joy and appetite for truth. As new creatures in Christ, we have been made new and we’ve been given new appetites, new cravings for the eternal. (Remember those sweet days?) Continuing in sin leads to a hardened heart & a weakened faith.

The second offender to the appetite is snacking. Eating too much between meals sabotages even the greatest feast. (Don’t you hate when you’ve spent time cooking and no one is hungry or they’re just plain picky?)  I understand that a steady snacking of today’s processed foods actually increases our cravings for them while ruining our taste buds at the same time. They decrease our appetite for that which is whole, healthy, and naturally delicious. The spiritual equivalent is clear. When our busy lives crowd out time in the Word because it is stuffed with self-fulfilling endeavors, questionable enterprises, or even really good ministerial activities, our once healthy craving for the Word is diminished and our new heart’s vitality is zapped. There is no real substitute for the Real thing. Nothing satisfies like God’s Word taught by God’s Spirit.

John Piper writes, “God has…filled the human heart with longing. But we know not what we long for until we see the breathtaking God. This is the cause of universal restlessness. Hence the famous prayer of Saint Augustine: ‘You made us for Yourself and our hearts find no peace till they rest in You.'”

Oh Dear Ones, let’s not be satisfied by anything less than the Real. The Word of God, making known the Son of God, by the Spirit of God, for our exceeding good health, great joy and complete satisfaction.

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Shirley Buzzoni is a wife, mother of two grown girls, and three littles. She taught in-depth Bible studies at her home for years and is known to many for her love of the Lord and her wonderful Italian cooking.

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