Filled to the Measure
By Susan Dollyhigh -
My stomach growled, and my eyes searched for a clock, as if needing to confirm the body’s signal for hunger. The clock, strategically hung over a snack machine, confirmed that I’d missed lunch. As I sat there in the waiting room of the full-service car wash, I glanced out the window where soap suds and water were flying, and all thoughts of counting points for my diet washed out of my brain.
I knew better. I’d been taught H.A.L.T., the acronym for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired – conditions that leave us vulnerable to temptation. But five hours had passed since my skimpy breakfast of a mini-bagel, and “H” had taken control of my brain.
From that moment on, I operated on auto-pilot. Pick up purse from floor; pull out wallet, open change compartment, dig out quarters, walk over to snack machine. My eyes settled on a bag of baked cheese crackers, and I rationalized, those aren’t so bad. But with quarters ready to slide into the slot, my eyes slid down – to the peanut butter sandwich crackers, known as Nabs. In Weight Watchers, one pack of Nabs counts five points- which is equivalent to a whole meal.
Those Nabs were good. I washed them down with Diet Coke. No harm done, that will be my lunch.
However, when I returned home, I found myself in the kitchen foraging for food. I opened a cabinet. Hmm; think I’ll have a cookie. Munch. Munch. Those chips look pretty good. Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. Whoa! Sanity returned and I realized I’d certainly put more than enough calories into my body. So why am I still hungry?
I looked at the cookies and chips in the cabinet. Because I’ve filled my body with junk! I finally poured healthy cereal into a bowl, and covered it with skim milk. I sat down at the kitchen table, ate the cereal, and felt nourishment flow throughout my body. Whew, finally contentment.
I’ve found the same thing is true of our souls. Many times we try to fill them with “junk” by eating or starving ourselves, sleeping or being a workaholic, making money or being a shopaholic. We may turn to drugs or alcohol, or even try to dull our senses with TV or the internet. But none of these things satisfy us, and any of these things in excess can even end up hurting us. Our souls were designed to be filled only with Christ. When we allow Him to fill us, He gives us the power to let go of destructive things, and to find peace that comes only from our souls being filled to the measure with the fullness of God – and we are finally free to experience true contentment.
Prayer: Father in Heaven, thank You for dwelling in our hearts. Thank You for loving us. Please help us to grasp and to know Your great love so that we may be filled to the measure with all the fullness of You.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:14-19 NIV).