Loving Limas

My Uncle Bob grew up hating lima beans. But during army boot camp training, his taste took an unexpected turn. One late evening he returned to the cafeteria, ravenous from an all-day post, to find just one item remaining: lima beans. With no other option, he heaped a generous portion onto his plate. And as he began to chow down, an amazing thing happened: those lima beans tasted delicious! When faced with true hunger, what he used to pass over with disdain suddenly became quite palatable.

My uncle’s story has long been a lesson to me in a spiritual truth. I have found when I am hurting in one way or another, my need is frequently the thing that drives me to seek the Lord. Suddenly I am all ears, eager for any bit of reassurance or guidance He can give. But when all is right in my world, I spend much less energy looking to Him and listening for His leading.

As Calvin Miller wrote in The Song: “When the flesh feeds itself, the hunger of the spirit is forgotten.”

God created us with a need for Him. But our tendency in the flesh is to fill that gaping hole with substitutes. We look to things like careers, people, or material possessions to make us feel significant or whole. As if those temporary things could ever satiate our hunger for God’s presence and peace!

God’s desire for us is to be in an intimate, trusting relationship with Him.

Keeping ourselves from hunger pains can work against that goal. We quickly forget our need for Him when the substitutes we have chosen provide temporary satisfaction. Jesus once told his disciples: “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!” (Luke 18:24 NASB) Their riches don’t disqualify them. It’s the self-sufficiency that comes with comfort that can keep people from bowing to the cross.

So, in his wisdom and love, God frequently gives us reminders of our need for him. Difficulties in our lives are not in spite of the goodness of God. In reality, they happen because of the goodness of God. We turn to God when we need.

We might pass over limas altogether should we never know what it is to hunger.

 “O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.” Psalm 34: 8 (NASB)

Julie-Coleman-headshot-295x300About the author: Julie Coleman helps others to understand and know an unexpected God. A popular conference and retreat speaker, she holds an M.A. in biblical studies. Her book, Unexpected Love: God’s Heart Revealed through Jesus’ Conversations with Women, was released in 2013 by Thomas Nelson. Julie is the managing editor for Arise Daily. When she is not glaring at her computer, Julie spends time with her grandchildren, gardening, or walking her neurotic dog. More on Julie can be found at unexpectedgod.com or on Facebook.

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Join the conversation: Have there been ways in which you have dulled your hunger for God?

24 thoughts on “Loving Limas

  1. You are Seeking Satisfaction in People or Places Other then God
    ‘The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.’ (Is 58:11)

    God’s invitation to me, no matter what season I’m in is to receive my satisfaction from Him. However, the enemy will try and tempt me to seek temporary pleasure in distractions and things other than God, with counterfeit ‘rewards’ that will never satisfy me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You are so right, Julie. The enemy tempts with the easy to satiate us. But his offerings are a shabby substitute for the satisfaction found in God.


  2. Julie, thank you for this opportunity to so some soul-searching today. Am I truly hungering for more of God, or have I looked to other things to satisfy me? What a powerful verse here. “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Yes, and amen!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I allowed my work to be my driving force for awhile. I was doing good things for students, but I was also trying to prove myself to others. In the end, I was tired and empty, void of emotions. I spent the holidays feeling like a zombie because I was just that “spent.” As God whispered into my spirit that a change was coming, I prepared my heart for what he had planned. What I did not foresee was a phone call that would end my full-time employment with my university – budget cuts! Initially, I was shocked, but then not surprised. God, had, after all, whispered that a change was coming. I am now in a place where I have to rest in Him. I am taking at a time, spending much time in prayer and quiet. I am also enjoying being with family, friends, and housekeeping. God will provide!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve been in that place several times in my life. And found them to be blessings in disguise. Enjoy this season in your life–getting a chance to slow down and rest in Him. It’s in those times that He draws us deeper. May God continue to bless, Cindy!


  4. Busyness often dulls my hunger for God. Even doing good deeds related to ministry can become a distraction from fueling my day with His goodness. Seeking Him with a passion to know Him orders my day and fuels my passion for doing His will. I leave my quiet place with more love and focus for His assignment: Love!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Beautiful, Melynda. It sounds like you have your priorities straight! And I hear you on the busyness. Even in service to Him. How quickly we become self-sufficient and try to run in our own strength!


  5. Having a devotional to start my day is a way that helps me stay hungry for more of God. I love the Biblical truths shared here! More please.


  6. When things seem like they are going great it seems easier to not seek God fully but when things are not going well it seems like then is when I seek Him fuller. Things are so much better when you seek God fully each and every day. Does not mean troubles but God is with me then as He is when life is going good. Loved today’s devotional


  7. This is a truth for all of us I think. I know for myself it is very important to keep my spirit fed and stay in close relationship with the father.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Coming to this devotional at the end of a long day, filled with many interruptions. And, like your uncle at one time, I don’t like lima beans. But I’ve got a mind to go buy a can of them and set it in a prominent place to remind myself to feed my soul-hunger the proper nourishment.
    I appreciate your insights, Julie!


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