Do you struggle with eating again and again at the same time each day, even if you aren’t hungry? I have tried a couple of different ways of handling this tendency, including planning my physical hunger to coincide with the “needy” time of the day.

This, however, seemed to be more of a band-aid. Whatever-it-is that has made me needy each night, has insisted I recognize it.

When we have a longing to eat even though we know that doing so goes against godly goals we have established, rather than deny that we are hungry, how about if we affirm that “I am hungry, but I am not physically hungry.”  This gives a voice to whatever-it-is that is going on in us and gives us something to work with. Then, we can take it a step farther. Let me explain…

This is what it looks like for me now. Each evening, after my chores, after dinner, I head for my bath. I draw the water, plug my iPod into the speakers, and play the raining forest selection complete with bird calls and frogs.  I turn off all the lights in the bathroom except for one (there is a blue light in the tub that is very relaxing) and I settle myself down .

As I do this, I prayerfully confess to the Lord that each evening, I am hungry for something and I tend to stuff that hunger with food–an attempt to numb the sensation, or stifle the cry of my heart. I ask him to show me right now what I am hungry for today.

He shows me–without fail!

One night he showed me that I was hungry for one-on-one time with my husband. With all the traveling he was doing, I felt forgotten. I needed some of his attention!  I probably wouldn’t have realized just how starved I was for time with my husband had I not taken my time with the Lord in the bath.

Yesterday, I took my bath a bit earlier than usual. As I let down my emotional guard in the tub with the Lord, I began to weep. My oldest child turns 18 today and, as I prayed about that and if there are feelings that go with that, the Lord showed me that I needed to grieve the baby that went to heaven before my Daniel was born–it was our first pregnancy and first child. I have never grieved the miscarriage of that baby like I did yesterday afternoon. Had I not taken the time to ask the Lord what I was feeling and had I not listened to him, I know I would have stuffed the feeling with food. (I had been feeling drawn to food yesterday for the first time in a long while.) Not only that, but it would have come to the surface *some* time. God wants me to bring it to him and to be honest with him so we can deal with it head on! Funny that I haven’t *consciously* thought of that baby in a while. I wonder if my grief about this responsible for a lot of feelings that I anesthetize with food!

All that to say, so often we want to just stifle the cry, but I want to encourage us to give the heart a voice, instead, offer it up to the Lord, and allow him to answer. “Lord, my heart is hungry, hurting, empty in some way. Please show me what I need in order to experience the soul satisfaction that you intend and help me to look to you to provide it.”

He will do it.

What about you? Can you carve time out before you eat outside of 0 and 5 to ask the Lord to show you what you hunger for or what isvthe source of the emptiness you try to fill with food?