They say never to go to the grocery store hungry, and now I know why not! 2 years ago I started Keto and let me tell you, in the beginning, I felt hunger pains 24/7. But, after struggling with the feeling of hunger, I realized that feeling hungry isn’t supposed to create an immediate response. Instead, it is supposed to create an immediate question. Shortly after that realization, hunger pains started to mean something completely different.
I read a story today that I’ve read more than a hundred times. This passage of Matthew is one often taught about how strong Jesus’ faith in His Father was that even when he went 40 days without eating that he couldn’t be tempted by Satan with a loaf of bread. But today, I got a different lesson entirely.
Was it faith or his understanding of hunger?
The way I understand faith is that we believe in something that we have little or no proof of reasoning to believe in. For example, if a carpenter builds you a custom rocking chair you must choose whether or not to sit in that chair. Is your choice based on your experience with other chairs in the past or maybe that carpenter has an established reputation you can depend on? Well, neither one of those represents faith in the ability of the chair to hold your weight. Certainly, there are unknowns at play, but still, logically we work out a reason to believe the chair will hold our weight.
But what if you had no proof or reason to believe the chair won’t collapse? Do you still sit? That is my definition of faith. Faith to me is truly placing your life in the hands of God with no proof, just faith. Jesus, being God’s son, didn’t act mainly on faith, but on knowledge and understanding. The fact of the matter is that we don’t have that knowledge and understanding, therefore, we must act on faith. All that to say, Jesus didn’t act on faith in the wilderness, but on self-control and understanding of his universe.
I do not doubt that Jesus experienced hunger pains. I believe this just as much as I believe he felt every lash and thorn that dug into his body during his crucifixion. Jesus lived as a human man, and therefore he experienced pain just like we did. However, when he felt those pains of hunger he made a choice. The same choice we get to make every day of our life.
Don’t let it change your direction
When Jesus was tempted with a hunger he knew a few things. First, he knew he was talking to a liar. This meant that even if Jesus gave into his temptation the liar would most likely pull a fast one on him. Secondly, Jesus knew that this liar had the power he spoke of. And lastly, Jesus knew the ramifications of his decision. Jesus wasn’t facing a crisis of faith in the wilderness, but a battle with the enemy in which the enemy appeared to have the upper hand.
Weak from hunger, Jesus gave us the example that we can follow in every decision we make. God gave us the emotions and physical triggers we need to survive as a species. Whether it be hunger or horny, these feelings are here to trigger a response. Understanding that these emotions and feelings are to trigger a question and not an action is vital to our healthy survival. If we have a hunger pain 30 minutes after a satisfying meal, are we to eat again or ask ourselves where that trigger came from?
The next time you feel any sort of biological or mental trigger, first ask yourself why you are feeling the trigger and then make a decision to respond. I promise you’ll eat less snacks!
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