Comfort food. At this time of year we all partake of a little comfort food now and again. For you it may look like a hot apple pie or a bowl of macaroni and cheese or even a steaming bowl of stew. Why do we turn to comfort food this time of year? Perhaps because when it is cold outside we want to warm up a little on the inside. And while these food choices may make us feel good temporarily…their results are limited to physical comfort. So I wonder what spiritual comfort food might look like. Let’s take stew for example. Stew as a noun can be a nice bowl of food that satisfies. Stew as a verb, however, is a nice bowl of worry, anxiety and stress (depending on what we are “stewing” over) and it provides little satisfaction. What if we came up with some better recipes for “spiritual stew” that would truly satisfy our souls.
How about some Faith Fiesta Stew? First start with belief and add as much as you can to the pot of your soul. Next, stir in a full cup of obedience and sprinkle with certainty of what you cannot see. For faith stew that really sticks to your ribs, add a dash of steadfastness and a teaspoon of spiritual discipline to finish it off. Cook this stew over the fire of adversity and you are sure to bring out its flavor. Taste the stew periodically as it simmers so you can add the seasonings of gratitude and mercy as needed.
Our next stew is a Hearty Hope Stew. This recipe is a little tricky because you have to begin with a cup of the Faith Fiesta Stew. Once you add that to the pot, you can throw in some truth mixed with a heaping portion of salvation. The meat of this stew is God’s Word so don’t hold back –add as much as you can to the pot of your soul. This stew is best cooked in a crock pot where it is always kept warm. It needs to be refreshed every few minutes, however by adding a dash of trust and a sprinkle of grace. But I promise you that when this stew is finally done, you will never be hungry again.
And finally, the best of all stews –The Love Stew. Beginning with the base of Hearty Hope, the Love Stew is the one you will want to share with all your friends. Fill the pot of your soul with as much living water as you can hold. Don’t worry about over-filling it because it will just splash over onto others. Next, stir in a spoonful of Hearty Hope and Faith Fiesta. Be sure to notice the beauty of how all the ingredients mix together so perfectly in your soul. The meat of this stew is abiding in Jesus so add all that you’ve got. (If you don’t know where to find it, just look to the cross). Add heaping teaspoons of joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This stew needs constant attention and tasting. We can get distracted and leave it unattended for too long so that it goes cold. Be sure to check its flavor constantly by tasting it through solitude and meditation. Always sprinkle daily doses of brotherly love, perseverance, and godliness. When sharing this stew, remember that this stew is best served alongside a nice warm slice of the Bread of Life.
With these three stews in the recipe book of your soul, “Your soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.” Psalm 63:5.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13
So, “share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked cover him. Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.” Isaiah 58:7-8 And child of God, there is no greater comfort than that!