Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'” 4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
We all remember Charlie Brown’s Halloween cartoon that we watch each year on TV. Charlie Brown could never catch a break. He went trick-o-treating with his friends and while each one got candy, Charlie Brown would dejectedly profess, “All I got was a rock.” Yet, year after year we would watch him go through the same motions again, getting dressed up, just to be disappointed, hoping that this year it would be different. He craved acceptance and to fit in and just get some candy!
In the garden while most of us would say Adam and Eve needed nothing, that isn’t exactly true. They needed air, they needed relationship, they needed food and shelter. Each of us was created with things our bodies crave. All you have to do is go on a fast and see how fast your body craves food. In this passage of scripture we see where Satan preyed on the natural temptation of a craving in Eve. Because we were created in the image of God we have a need to feel powerful and in control. We have a need to know what the secret is. Forget the fact that because we are are made in his image we are powerful and in control and we already know what the secret is, our humanity thinks this is found outside of ourselves. God created this need for craving so that we would crave him. Everyone even the atheist has a craving in his being for a relationship with something bigger than himself.
Cravings are something we all have. Temptations to indulge in the cravings come along all the time. Ask the drug addict if he’d rather have drugs than food and he’ll answer that drugs is what he craves; yet he understands his need for food, it just doesn’t satisfy his craving. Ask the dieter what they crave and it’s never a diet bar, it’s always a food item they can’t have that they crave. Sometimes cravings tell us what is missing from our bodies. The person who craves crunching ice needs to have their iron levels tested, as it’s sometimes a symptom of an iron deficiency.
The key to cravings is to master them and not have them master you. The challange becomes to rule over your cravings and put them in perspective. Just as your flesh has its cravings and desires so does your soul. Everyone was created with cravings both flesh and soul. The question becomes can we control our cravings or do they control us? Can the things that are not good for us be done away with?
I have an allergy to dairy. I break out in horrible big splotchy red welt-like hives that are so incredibly itchy. Sometimes, I have a baked potato with a little sour cream and I break out all over, sometimes I have a scoop of ice cream and I get a few welts but nothing major. See, I never know when I go to eat a dairy product what the results will be. I’ve had this allergy all of my life and so you’d think now that I am 44 I would stay completely away from all dairy products but that is not the case. Sometimes, I crave a scoop of Jamoca ice cream from Baskin Robbins. Usually, when the craving hits and it’s a couple a year, I can go a few weeks without giving into my craving but eventually I go for it. The reason I do this is because the momentary pleasure is worth the pain.
What are you craving that you know is not good for you? What do you keep going back to when you know it only result in same outcome as always? We’ll discuss more tomorrow. For now, reflect on these things.