Valentine’s Day is all about cravings, isn’t it? We can’t escape the hard sell: heart shaped candy, expensive roses, jewelry and romantic cards all point to that deep craving for love in us. How are you faring with the craving situation? What are you pining for; what are you craving?
Those of us who struggle with addiction know all too well about the insidious, impulsive craving situation. The definition of the word reads as follows:
“a strong desire for something, longing, desire, passion, hunger, thirst, yearning, hankering, yen, appetite.”
Yeah, that covers it. It’s that “thing” which speaks to us, drives us, tempts us and promises us that with it, be it substance, person, relationship, fixation or object, we’ll have the answers we need for our lives; we’ll be happy, peaceful and feel that warm fuzzy, if not vague, feeling of “love.”
So, how do we get on that rollercoaster in the first place?
Craving- Just Trying It:
It starts by tasting. Ah, yes, nothing like getting hooked, huh? Ever since that apple in Genesis, temptation and tasting have gone hand in hand.
Before we go any further, let’s give Eve a break. First of all, it was never in her plan to eat the apple and of course, experience that great fall into sin that we now grapple with to this day. Just like none of us go looking to becoming addicted, making horrible, destructive choices which negatively impact our lives. But there is a start to it somewhere, right?
“But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden…”
Like Eve, we go about our lives and, sooner or later, we spot our very own apple. It looks great, appealing, problem solving, peace giving.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat…”
And so, we try it. We try it for whatever reason.
For some of us, we are coping with abusive or painful experiences; we need an escape. For others, it’s a strategy to cover the deep insecurities of not being “good enough.” Some of us also fall into the cliché peer pressure, trying to be cool, trying to fit in and find our place. These are just a few possible reasons we try something. But look closer. Look beyond the immediate reason. See anything? Do you see the need for Elohim’s love yet?
I know. It can sound cliché. You may even be rolling your eyes at the concept as you read this. But think about how prevalent the love concept is today. Love songs, advertising to make us more beautiful, handsome and desirable and countless online dating sites are a few examples of the power of love. You’ve listened to a love song, bought some perfume or cologne and thought about dating once or twice, haven’t you?
And now, let’s go to Valentine's Day, which just hits you over the head with it. We are bombarded with the selling point telling us we need and want love. So, bring out the cupids, everything red, pink and heart-shaped! And bring out the unrealistic expectations, the disappointment and the food, drug and alcohol stupors, as we realize that, for whatever reason, the Valentine’s Day love promise didn’t deliver for us. So, we rationalize, perhaps, let’s taste something-try something- else. And around and around we go!
We go everything and everyone else, seemingly, except The Most High. Hi there! Remember Him?
That’s part of the problem. Many of us don’t know Him or we believe the lies about Him. Again, let’s go back to Genesis.
“And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘Ye shall not surely die.’”
If Eve was deceived, how could any of us expect to avoid the trap ourselves? Whether it’s a lie telling us our craving, our addiction or vice is not harmful or it’s a lie telling us our Creator isn’t real, doesn’t love us and won’t help us in our lives, we fall for it constantly. We can be the most educated and sophisticated, but we still fall for it.
It’s because, at our core, we’re still, somehow convinced that our choice of things to try is tastier than The Most High. Tastier might mean more relevant, powerful, soothing or rewarding. Regardless of what it personally means to us, the scripture, is right on target!
“As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one; There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.’”
Now, how’s that for warm and fuzzy! It’s not to make us feel like slimy garden slugs, but it is a reality check we can apply to our own addictions and compulsions. We are more convinced that object of our craving/addiction is our answer than we are that our Father already is!
You see, back to Genesis, Eve was already loved, valued and considered by Elohim, as she was. She didn’t need to add anything “extra” to that reality. But somewhere, she entertained the lie telling her otherwise. And that’s where things went awry.
Instead of already tasting The Most High, savoring her current situation, she went looking- and tasting- elsewhere. That’s where we go astray. What if, in all of our searching, we tried Him?
“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
What if we refused?
“Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.”
Well, that’s appealing! But, sadly, how many of us have suffered some kind of “bottom” experience, fainting in some way because we refused the Divine. It’s not Elohim Who has distanced Himself from us; it’s us choosing to move further away from Him.
You’ve probably heard about “the black hole” or “the bottomless pit.” These terms are often used to describe the addictive state. It’s that endless searching, that despair-filled, frantic approach we engage in, just to stop our pain. Maybe you’ve even heard about the “God-shaped hole” inside each one of us. Having a need or, more accurately, an unmet need, is not a sin; it’s human. But that “God-shaped hole” means precisely that. It’s for The Most High only. And He has promised to fill it with Him, not anything or anyone else.
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
So, we may feel hungry and thirsty, but there is a remedy: our Savior.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
I’m not trying to dismiss your pain or your struggles with addictions, compulsions or disorders. They are real; they are painful. But please never forget there is a real Source, with real answers and a real response to your longing:
“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”
There’s more to this response than filling, however. What is the point to it all? What is Elohim's first and largest response? C’mon, it’s not too hard to decipher. It’s Love.
“God is Love”
1 John 4:16
We crave His love and we don’t even know it. That’s the spiritual root of the addictive nature. We go out looking for what we already have. He tells us over and over again, we already have it:
“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved you…”
“…‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’”
“We love him, because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19
And nothing, no craving, no addiction, choice or circumstance can ever keep Him from loving us!
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And then, to top it all off, there’s our Messiah:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Are you craving something right now? A drink? A drug? Some ice cream or comfort food? A relationship or activity which is bad for you? Why not turn that craving in a different direction? Why not turn it to The Most High?
Believe it or not, He craves YOU!!!
“…‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love...”
Feed that craving now, with you, all of you, as you are now! Our Creator is addicted to loving YOU! That’s a craving meant to satisfy!
Copyright © 2017 by Sheryle Cruse