It doesn’t take much to make me happy. I’m a fairly simple person with simple needs.
Biscuits hold a relatively high position on my list of favorite things. That picture up there is making it difficult for me to concentrate at the moment because I am now having to ignore hunger pains that were not there five minutes ago.
Sometimes our desires cause us pain and discomfort. Emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Just like it did with Adam and Eve. The enemy brought forth a desire in Eve for the beautiful fruit on the tree that God specifically forbade.
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” Genesis 3:6 (Italics added)
When I saw the picture of the biscuit, I quickly developed a desire for it. I couldn’t touch it or even smell it, but I wanted it nonetheless. It wasn’t because I was hungry as I’d had a snack less than thirty minutes before. None of that mattered. I wanted that biscuit! I could imagine its light fluffiness, the buttery flakiness of the top, the warmth in my fingers.
Do you want a biscuit now, too?
I. Love. Biscuits.
When my husband asks me where I want to go for dinner, the availability of biscuits often plays a role in that decision. I am also picky about my biscuits. My mother made the best biscuits this side of Heaven. There is no restaurant, fast food or otherwise, that even comes close, so I’ve had to make peace with that and settle for second best while here on sinful, biscuit-challenged earth.
I’ve also had to accept that I can not have every biscuit I desire unless I want to break the scales and develop some scary disease. Biscuits do not rank high on the healthy foods list, so I have to decline more often than I would like. Sometimes, we have to say no even when the temptation might not be sinful; it just might not be the best thing for us, emotionally, physically, or spiritually.
Biscuits are nice to look at, even nicer to eat, and I can add more wonderful, unhealthy things to them, none of which are good for me physically.
Desires are not inherently harmful but how we handle them determines that outcome.
Did you forget I mentioned horses? Are you wondering what they have to do with biscuits?
Absolutely nothing. They just also happen to be way up on my list of favorite things.
To me, horses are one of God’s most magnificent creatures. They are an exquisite blend of power and gentleness, combining incredible strength with loving docility. Those chocolate eyes and velvety noses. I love the way they knicker and whinny.
Seeing a horse brings a flood of joy to my soul. I’m one of those people who yells “horses!” ever time I pass a farm. I also yell goats, cows, sheep, whatever, but that’s beside the point.
Almost every year I buy a horse calendar for my office wall, looking forward to the flipping of the page each month to see a beautiful new photo of these stunning equine marvels. Then I save them in a drawer because I cannot bear to throw away these gorgeous photos. I’m a closet horse hoarder.
But, no unhealthy carbs, no calories, no guilt whatsoever. Just a feast for my eyes and joy for my soul, and gratitude to my Savior that He would create such an animal for my pleasure.
I can’t ride any longer for various reasons. It would be harmful to me physically and foolish on my part to attempt it, so I enjoy horses visually. I was able to give my daughter riding lessons as a teenager, and that brought me great joy as well. Just as with my biscuit craving, though, I must manage the desire for a horse.
Along with a number of other things, which are not necessarily unhealthy but potentially damaging to me emotionally and spiritually if my focus on them lingers too long. So, I make the often difficult choice to turn my heart away from fleshly desires and instead, look to the Lord for my satisfaction.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Does that mean He will supernaturally allow me to eat all the biscuits I want without weight gain or poor health? To ride again without injury? To have whatever I want as long as I’m a good Christian, reading the Bible regularly and attending church every time the doors are open?
It simply means that the more time I spend with the Lord, the more He will change the desires of my heart to align with His will. By now, you know this is about way more than biscuits and horses. It’s about not settling for better but waiting for the best which is always what our Lord has for us.
To eat all the biscuits I want would satisfy only for a short while before I started to feel sick and regret my overindulgence. To own a horse would be absolutely wonderful, but again, it would only satisfy for a short while compared to what awaits me in eternity. Our desires are sad and pitiful in the light of His promises, so hold on, dear one. The longing in our hearts cannot be satisfied here. We must have the far view to the unseen horizon. We must stop gazing out the small windows of this life.
Enjoy what God has created within the healthy boundaries He has established for your protection. Be grateful for the beauty that surrounds us, but do not let it distract you from what is to come.
“But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.'” 1 Corinthians 2:9