I have been reading the Gospel of John and thinking about satiety the past few weeks. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, satiety is “the quality or state of being fed or gratified to or beyond capacity.” To be fed or gratified to or beyond capacity… If you stop and really think about it don’t we spend most of our day pursuing satiety?
When it comes to food, the pursuit of satiety is a life and death situation for many people in this world. For those of us fortunate enough to live in a country where food is plentiful, the pursuit of satiety can cause us to eat “beyond capacity” which can lead to obesity and major health issues.
Nutritional research has revealed that understanding the science behind satiety can help us lose weight while feeling satisfied. Dr. Susanna Holt has developed a satiety index, which measures how full different foods make you feel relative to a slice of white bread. For instance, boiled potatoes are three times more filling than a slice of white bread, oatmeal, oranges and apples are two times more filling, while junk food like doughnuts and candy bars are 30% less filling than a slice of white bread. Understanding the satiety indexes of different foods can help us lose weight while not feeling hungry.
In the forth chapter of the Gospel of John, Jesus revealed that there is food and water available to us that has a much higher satiety index than boiled potatoes and well water. Through an encounter with Samaritan woman at a well, Jesus told us that He is the source of living water, and that if we drink it, we “will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4:14) Jesus also revealed to His disciples that there is food that is far more satisfying than meat and potatoes. He said, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34).
Jesus said that if we simply believe and trust in Him, and ask to be filled with His Holy Spirit, our spiritual thirst will be quenched and our hunger will be satisfied by the desire to know God and carry out His will. When we reject Christ’s amazing offer for spiritual satiety and attempt to fill our lives with anything else, like money, power, fame or entertainment, we will never be satiated because the pursuit of these thing provides no nourishment for our souls.
Dear Jesus forgive me when I settle for food and drink that do not truly satisfy. Please fill me with living water and help me to know your will for my life today. Open my eyes to see the ripe fields around me and please use me to reap what I have not sown so that I can participate in your joy and be satiated with Your true food and true drink.
(2) S.H.A. Holt, J.C. Brand Miller, P. Petocz, and E. Farmakalidis, “A Satiety Index of Common Foods,” European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, September 1995, pages 675-690.