Stepping into the school cafeteria, I immediately found my mouth watering as a delicious aroma welcomed me. A glance at the selection of food prompted the “piggish monster” in my stomach to beat its drum even harder. Sweet and sour chicken, soybean sauce eggplant, meatballs … I began to tremble at my potentially barbaric indulgence of tasty food.
I was slipping into the pitfall of food temptation.
My internal warning light was blinking, fully indicating that this food temptation was going to devour me, a broken sinner. What was worse, I had started to resort to cafeteria food for relief instead of running to God for rescue whenever I encountered hardship, disappointment or loneliness. When I finished one plate, I heard my stomach dreadfully roaring for another. Before I realized my terrible compromise, I was already back at the food counter asking for one more plate. As a result, I gained 15 pounds in a month, and I soon was labeled with a hurtful nickname, Flesh Balloon. I also began suffering from terrible stomachaches, simply because I overate.
It was like a nightmare.
Fortunately, the Lord woke me up. I am grateful for God, because He made me realize the urgency of breaking away from my sinful food bondage. Not leaving me with just the realization of my need, He blessed me with a new strong will and power to resist my temptation every time it waved to me. How did it happen? Well, in fact, my strategy was very simple, but took great faith: I prayed as I walked through the cafeteria.
Now every time I reach a point after eating my first plate of food—when my stomach is satisfied, and I am no longer hungry—I determinedly take up my plate, put it onto the plate trolley and walk out of the cafeteria. For me, this can never be done without prayer. As I take each step from the dining table to the plate trolley, then to the outside of the cafeteria entrance, I pray to God, asking Him for a strong will and power to resist turning back and getting more food. He is always faithful to come to my rescue. The moment I step out the cafeteria entrance, an indescribable sense of triumph embraces me and my heart overflows with joy.
I learned that turning to food for comfort rather than God makes it more than nutrition; it makes an idol.
Is the food in the school cafeteria still tempting? Sure! It’s as good as ever, if not better. Nevertheless, I have won the food battle and will continue to be the winner with God’s sufficient grace.