By Ben Cachiaras
Do you remember Edmund from C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe? He came under the spell of the terrible White Witch in Narnia, believing she could make him a real king and extremely happy, which of course she could not. She only wanted to lure him and his siblings into her grasp so she could turn them into stone, defeat Aslan, and remain the undisputed ruler of Narnia. When asked what he really wanted to eat, Edmund replied, “Turkish delight!” Instantly several pounds of the tasty candy appeared. Edmund ate and ate, and became sicker and sicker.
Wasting our Hope and Years
We’re a lot like Edmund, aren’t we? We want to be happy. We long to find contentment and peace. There are holes in our relationships, frustrations in ourselves, and disappointments in life that leave a hunger we ache to have filled. Even though deep down we know our peace won’t come from the White Witches of this world, we waste hope and years on Turkish delight, pursuing that which promises fulfillment but can never truly satisfy.
The events of John 6 warn that even those who spend time near Jesus can miss who he truly is and what he offers. After seeing Jesus multiply a boy’s lunch to provide for 5,000, the people pursued Jesus. But instead of seeing Jesus, they had stared at the bread itself. They came because their physical hunger had been temporarily filled and they wanted some more. They were not moved by full hearts, longing for God; they were moved by full bellies, longing for more food. We can be so shallow.
I am the Bread of Life
When they finally understood the true bread from Heaven, lasting food from God that endures and is free for all who believe, they begged, “Give us this bread!”
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.’”
Turkish delight is everywhere, promising what it can’t deliver, leaving us always wanting more. But the longings and hopes that stir our hearts are God’s attempts to draw us to himself. That means our hungers are holy, meant to drive us to Jesus, the only bread that satisfies the hunger of our hearts.
Ben Cachiaras is the senior minister of Mountain Christian Church in Joppa, Maryland and past president of the North American Christian Convention.