Have you ever had a craving that just wouldn’t go away? Sometimes they can be a bit strange, such as the supposed pickles and ice cream during pregnancy. Minimal research about this food combination revealed that from 1900 – 1950 it was thought to be the reason for belly aches! Sometime during the 1960’s it became a stereotypical pregnancy craving. (Personally, I preferred sautéed peppers and onions….) Some believe cravings indicate the body is in need of a particular nutrient, or that hormone changes induce particular desires. I don’t know. Whether my body was in need of nutrients or the desire was just in my mind, I couldn’t seem to get enough peppers and onions!!
Crave: to want greatly; to have a strong or inward desire. The internet suggests that chocolate is craved more than any other food. (So it must be true, right?) Salty snacks win out in my book. Either way, too much of a good thing can still be bad, and may also produce the previously mentioned belly ache!
From an article published in Psychology Today, 2003:
…research from the University College of London shows that the yen for chocolate and other tasty treats may be an acquired habit. In humans, hunger and eating are strongly influenced by context. That seems to be true of cravings, too. Even though the desire feels deep-down and basic, habit and conditioning seem to have a lot to do with it…
Habits and conditioning. I really like Dr Pepper. I can easily get in the habit of drinking one or more a day. When I do this repeatedly, I condition myself to want (“need”) a Dr Pepper every day. Once I’ve indulged in this as a habit, denying myself this beverage brings about a negative side effect: the caffeine withdrawal headache. This headache reinforces my “belief” that I need Dr Pepper, and not wanting to endure the suffering, I often yield to the demand and head to Sonic (who has the best DP, by the way).
What do you crave? What do you pursue because you have a strong or inward desire to acquire it? You know where I’m going with this, right??
Here’s what God says we should crave:
- His face 2 Chronicles 7:14
- Him 2 Chronicles 14:4
- Peace Psalm 34:14
- His strength Psalm 105:4
- Knowledge Psalm 15:14
- Righteousness Proverbs 21:21
- Pure spiritual milk 1 Peter 2:2
I didn’t just wake up one day and crave Dr Pepper. I tasted it and liked it, but in the beginning I didn’t drink it every day. It was occasional, as we did not have soda at home and rarely ate out. However, when I found myself in circumstances that allowed me to have it more often (soda machine in the school cafeteria), I chose to begin developing a habit. I conditioned myself to desire it and fully expected to satisfy that desire, even when it was inconvenient!
We think that because we’ve “tasted” God, that we’re going to just wake up one day and crave Him. It doesn’t happen that way. We want Him, no doubt – it’s why I’m writing my thoughts and you are taking the time to read them! But to crave Him is deeper than just wanting Him. We must first develop the habit of seeking Him, and condition ourselves to read His word every day no matter how “inconvenient” it may be. Committing to this time with Him produces a craving for Him!
As a young child, I craved time with my dad. And he loved nothing more than telling us old stories. His life was an adventure from his earliest memories and he very much enjoyed sharing them with us. We learned a great deal about who he was, as and adult and as our father, based on these stories. If we ever asked him to tell us about something he had done, he never told us we asked for too much. He was never bothered by those requests as it opened the door for him to do something that pleased him very much. He felt loved by us when we wanted to know more about him.
It thrills our Father when we want to know more about Him. When we crave time with Him, He very much enjoys our company. Our requests are not burdensome to Him. He experiences our love for Him when we want to know more. Too much of a good thing? Not applicable when we’re talking about our Father. He is good and we are going to spend all of eternity learning more and more about Him. This life is just the beginning.