Food sustains the human body. But food has its limits.
I’ve been made increasingly aware of this fact as of late. Last week, while battling a stomach sickness in a foreign country, food temporarily became my enemy. Something so basic to my survival and satisfaction was stripped away from me. It’s only when necessities are gone that you realize how necessary they were in the first place.
And it’s only when our bodily source of energy is depleted that we realize we must survive on something else entirely.
I’ve been memorizing Psalm 145 with my life group this semester. Interesting enough, the next section is all about sustenance – and it even mentions food. It tells us something important about an attribute of God on which we would all be wise to meditate:
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling
and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
David sings a solid truth about our Lord woven throughout these three verses: God is our Sustainer.
When I think about the blood that pulses through my veins, I realize the significance of the life-blood of Jesus Christ that is pulsing through the person who has put his or her faith in him. The one who is rooted in Christ – who is united to him once for all time – has the life of our Lord and Savior flowing into their own. We read in Psalm 1 that the believer is like a tree:
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
The believer is nourished and sustained by the Bread of Life, Jesus himself:
“Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
So Christ is our very life. He is our Creator and our Sustainer, meaning that we never leave his grip. Meaning that we are utterly dependent on him for life and breath and everything. Meaning that only he can satisfy our deepest needs, desires and longings.
I’ve got to say, there is nothing quite like consuming that first real meal after a week of battling the enemy “food.” It satisfies the stomach, the taste buds, the whole body. It upholds the weak and provides needed nourishment for the dependent receiver.
Psalm 145 says that Christ sustains us all the more. The Lord upholds, raises up, is looked upon (depended upon) by every living thing, provides nourishment in his right timing, gives generously from his stores of riches, and satisfies the desires of every living thing.
And all this because the Creator and Sustainer suffered the exact opposite from the Father’s hand when he obediently became the propitiation for our sins on the cross. He lost his very life-blood so that those who believe could be sustained by his very same life, the life that resurrected from the grave and ascended to rule in power forever!
In what area of your life are you looking to be nourished and satisfied and sustained by something or someone other than Christ? In what areas is Jesus making it apparent that he alone can be your Bread of Life?
Though food offers us temporary sustenance and blood pumps through our veins for such a time as this, only our Sustainer’s stores of love and grace can nourish our souls for eternity.