“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,“when I will send a famine through the land—not a famine of food or a thirst for water,but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord. Amos 8:11The opportunity to travel around Southeast Asia as part of my work introduced me to different cultures and food. Among my favorites are fish amok (fish cooked in coconut oil) of Cambodia, pho ga (rice noodles with chicken strips) of Vietnam and seik kyika (stewed innards of goat) of Myanmar. Local food and its preparation are among the main things to learn and enjoy in travelling. Anthony Bourdain made a career checking out both common and exotic foods in countries around the world and sharing his impressions to millions of his viewers.
Food makes or breaks our travel. We may enjoy the presentation and the taste of a food, its ordinariness or its uniqueness including the intricacy of its preparation, but we can also end up being sick with traveller’s diarrhea if we are not careful. One travel tip to avoid bad food, especially when eating street food, is to eat freshly-cooked piping-hot foods.
Enjoying food is one thing, absence of food is another thing. Without food we get hungry, and hunger affects the normal functioning of our body. We get weaker, blurring our minds, making us reckless and sometimes compelling us to do things we do not usually do when our stomachs are full. We read in Genesis 25 how Esau in his hunger sold a God-given privilege for a bowl of stew.
As Christians, we should also remember we have a spiritual body that needs feeding. Do we also hunger for God’s Word, or are we spiritually starved and dying? We are living in interesting times with a deluge of bad spiritual food – fake news twisting the truth, end-times preaching instilling fear and panic, prosperity ‘gospels’ extolling love for wealth and even apocryphal gospels presented as the truth.
Confronted with these temptations, are we strong enough to rebuff the devil? The devil tried tempting Jesus after he fasted for forty days in the wilderness. In Matthew 4:3 we read, ‘The tempter came to Him and said, ‘If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.’ Jesus rebuked the devil because he was spiritually strong despite the physical hunger. Feeding our spiritual body is as important as feeding our physical body. The weighing scale is the witness that feeding our physical body is our priority, so how do we catch up and nourish also our spiritual body? In Matthew 11: 29, Jesus said, ‘Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.’ We should learn from, and know God more and His will for us.
We feed our spiritual body daily by setting aside time to study His Word. We start with the basic things – daily Bible reading, devotion and quiet time of reflection. It will surprise us to know what God will be revealing to us as we learn more about Him. We can also start reading the Bible daily from cover to cover just like a fiction bestseller and find out how God cares for His people then and now. The banquet is ready, let us partake and enjoy!