Craving

Valentine’s Day is all about cravings. We can’t escape
the hard sell: the heart shaped candy, expensive roses,
jewelry and romantic cards all point to that deep need
for love. How are you faring with your craving situation?
Those of us who struggle with addiction know all too
well about its insidious, impulsive nature. 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 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, there’s nothing like getting
hooked. Ever since that apple in Genesis, temptation
and tasting have gone hand in hand.

But 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 we now grapple
with to this day. After all, none of us aspire to becoming
addicts, making horrible, destructive choices which
negatively impact our lives. But, nevertheless, with the
tasting, there is a start to it, right?

“But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the
garden…” Genesis 3:3

Like Eve, we go about our lives and, sooner or later,
we spot our very own apple. It looks

“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…” Genesis 3:6

So, we try it. We try it for whatever reason we justify to
be a good 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 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 God’s love yet?

I know. It sounds cliché. But think about how prevalent
the love craving is today. Sappy songs, advertising
which promises to make us more desirable and
countless online dating sites are a few examples of its
power. We’ve all listened to a love song, bought some
perfume or cologne and thought about dating once or
twice, haven’t we?

And now, there’s Valentine’s Day. We are bombarded
with the selling point. 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. So, we rationalize, perhaps, let’s taste
something-try something- else. And around and
around we go!

We go to everything and everyone else, seemingly, except
God. 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.’” Genesis 3:4

If Eve was deceived, how could any of us expect to
avoid that trap ourselves? Whether the lie tells us our
craving, our addiction or vice is not harmful or how
God 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 convinced “our thing”
is tastier than God. 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.’” Romans 3:10-11

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 is our
answer than we are of God being our answer.

We’re back to Genesis, Eve was already loved, valued
and considered by God, as she was. She didn’t need to
add anything “extra” to that reality. But somewhere,
she entertained the lie telling her otherwise. She toyed
with it; we focused on it. Ever so gradually, she wholeheartedly
believed it to be truth. And that’s where
things went awry. Instead of already tasting God,
savoring her current situation, she went looking- and
tasting- elsewhere. That’s where we go astray. What if,
in all of our searching, we actually tried God?

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the
man that trusteth in him.” Psalm 34:8

Contrast that result to our choice of refusal?

“Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted in them.” Psalms
107:5

Well, that’s appealing! And how many of us have suffered
some kind of “bottom” experience, fainting in
some way because we refused God. It’s not God 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, as we
attempt to stop our pain. Maybe you’ve even heard
about the “God-shaped hole.” 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
God only. And God 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.” Matthew 5:6
So, we may feel hungry and thirsty, but there is a remedy:
Jesus.

“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.” John 6:35

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 God, with real answers and a real response to your
longing:

“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth
the hungry soul with goodness.” Psalms 107:9

There’s more to this response than filling, however.
What is the point to it all? What is God’s first and largest
response? C’mon, it’s not 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; His Love.

“Since you were precious in my sight… I have loved
you…” Isaiah 43:4
“…‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.’” Jeremiah
31:3
“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.” Romans 8:38-
39

Are you craving something right now? A drink? A drug?
Some comfort food? A relationship or activity which
is bad for you? What if we turned that craving toward
God? Believe it or not, God craves YOU!!!

“…‘Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love…”
Jeremiah 31:3

So, let’s choose to feed that craving, even as we are
right now! Whether or not we know it or believe it, God
is addicted to loving US!