My family of six has dwindled over the last couple of years as children have grown up and moved out to experience life on their own. A few weeks ago, it happened to be a week where it was just my husband and me. I am one of those people who tends to enjoy going grocery shopping - as long as it is on a Saturday morning at 7AM when nobody else is in the store. I enjoy going up and down the aisles to see what new items may have been added. When a new grocery store opens in the area - guess who is there within the first week? I can hear many of you out there sighing, "She has a problem"! I would argue that my home is always filled with groceries for that "just in case" moment - you know - when the entire neighborhood may show up for Saturday dinner (that has yet to happen)! On this particular Saturday, I went to the store with a specific goal - getting just what Juan and I would need for the week.
I came home to a willing husband who assisted in bringing the groceries into the house. As he continued to go back and forth to the car, in a very caring yet quizzical tone, he asked, "Honey, may I ask how much you might have spent on groceries this week?" In a sheepish voice I needed to reply, "Almost $250". He had every right to gasp, as did I when the cashier shared the amount. $250 - for TWO people. Really? It wasn't as if I had NOTHING at the house to begin with. I probably didn't even need to go to the grocery store. I felt that I was justified to spend the amount on all these groceries - but I wasn't. I had no need for $250 worth of groceries. I wanted - I wanted to buy some new things I saw, I wanted to make this and make that, I wanted to . . . . .
I wanted - two difficult words that make up much of our culture these days. We tend to go after the latest trends in fashion and technology because "I want". We tend to hunger and thirst for items to fill up a place of emptiness. That emptiness could be jealousy for what others around us have. It could be emptiness for things we couldn't have before. It could be emptiness due to that sense of wanting. The problem is that many times we say to ourselves, "If I just have a new car, I'll be happy." Or it could be, "If I just had that new dress, I'll be pretty." Maybe it is, "If I just have that new phone, I'll be popular." Taking it a step further, it could be, "If I flirt with this person, then maybe I will feel loved." We tend to believe that "things" will satisfy us - will fill us up. In my case on that fateful Saturday morning, it was, "If I just try these few things, I'll really show my family I am a great cook." To be honest, my loving family already shares with me that they like my cooking - I didn't need to go out and spend an enormous amount of money on food we really didn't need for them to fill up my ego!
So how does this tie into our beatitude for this week? When we fill ourselves up with Jesus, we don't have to hunger or thirst anymore. When we take time to be with our Lord, we fill ourselves up with all the goodness that Jesus has to offer. When we read His words, we know we are beautiful because He made us just the way He wanted us to be (I don't need a new dress to feel pretty). When we read His words, we know we are loved - more than anything in this world. What a great way to be filled up! When we read His words, we know that Jesus provides us just what we need - we don't need to gain any more toys. When we immerse ourselves in Jesus, we are filled up - to the brim. When we read His precious words and talk with Him in prayer, we are filled with his everlasting hope.
I have to share, I am much more careful these days when I go to the grocery store. I also am careful when my thoughts go to things that I want. Do I really need to have that item or am I trying to fill a gap somewhere. I find if it is a gap - that gap can be filled with my Savior. For He gives me the love, the truth, the things, and the hope that I need to be happy. If you are looking to fill that empty space, may I suggest a little "kneelin' and readin'" (praying and Bible). It truly can be a very satisfying combination.
Dearest Jesus, thank you for being all I truly need to fill me up. When my thoughts and desires turn to things that are materialistic, may I turn my attentions back to you - the great Provider. In you I find all that I need to be "filled up" and satisfied. In your name I pray, Amen.