My sister, when she was around 4 or 5 years old, made a plaintive request of our mother one evening. Our habit was to come home from church on Sunday night and have a snack. That evening’s snack was ice cream, which was devoured by us kids in short order. My sister, being the youngest of 4 and the darling of the whole family, held up her empty bowl and said to Mom “Please can I have a tiny little bit of more? Just a tiny little bit.” Well who could resist that? Her sweet little face so earnest, a plea in her pretty blue eyes, those little hands cupped around her empty bowl. Of course Mom gave her a “tiny little bit more”. What else could she do?
It’s a sweet memory. Makes me smile. It also makes me think. (You may have figured out by now that I do that a lot…)
How many times do we get a taste of something good and hold out our bowls for a “tiny little bit more”? Nothing wrong with that you might say, and you’d probably be right, in the grand scheme of things. Just a little more cake. Maybe a touch more of that gravy on my potatoes. One more piece of that pie. All the good things, of course.
I’ve looked back over my life and thought about how often I’d hold up my empty bowl for “just a tiny little bit more”. My “more” though was just one more chapter – when it’s 10 p.m. and I have to be up at 5:30. Just one more movie. Just one more night out with friends. Just one more drink. Just one more after that. It’s all in good fun. I’m just relaxing. Just one more and I’ll go to bed. Which turned into 3 or 4 more. Which turned into a 6- or 12-pack a night.
I was attempting to fill a bowl that never seemed to get full. No matter how much I put into it, it seemed to stay empty. I threw everything I could think of into that bowl…and it was just as empty.
Relationships. Friendships. Activities. When that didn’t work, it was isolating myself at home, staying away from everyone and just gorging on TV shows or movies, reading, and drinking. Anything to keep from acknowledging just how empty my bowl was.
Never satisfied. I always wanted more.
It was everyone else’s fault, of course. They weren’t doing it right. My friends, my relationships. They were messing it all up. If they’d just love me the right way, I wouldn’t be empty all the time.
Why couldn’t I get enough? Enough acceptance, enough approval, enough belonging. And if I couldn’t get enough I would just drink more. When someone let me down, I’d pour another drink. When someone made me mad, another drink.
I couldn’t sleep without at least 4 or 5 under my belt. Every night. Every single stinking night.
I’d panic if I wasn’t going to be home in the evening…calculating the hours in my head so I’d know how many drinks I could get in before bedtime. Arranging to be home by a certain time so I could make sure I got enough.
Self-medicating. I think that’s the term for it. I didn’t want to feel. I was so empty, and could never seem to get filled. I always wanted more.
I am so thankful every single day that I have found the “more” I needed.
The more I get of Jesus, the more I want. The more I need, the more He gives. The more I open, the more He fills. The more often I hold up my bowl, the more He puts in it.
John 6:35: Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
Jesus is the only thing that can satisfy that craving for more. He is the only “more” I will ever need. All I have to do is seek Him. Walk with Him. Have a relationship with Him. Trust Him to satisfy my needs.
He can do the same for you. He can satisfy your deepest longing. I know, because He has done it for me. There’s no trick to it. There’s no strings or hoops you have to jump through. No forms to fill out, no membership dues. Just come to Him.
I have found myself satisfied, content, happy, and I haven’t done a thing. Not one thing but just come to Jesus.
I have my “tiny little bit more”, and it’s more than I’ve ever dreamed, more than I knew was available. I’ve asked for more still, to love Him more tomorrow than I do today. To love Him more than anything else in my life. To love His word. He has filled my empty bowl to overflowing.
Turns out, His “tiny little bit more” is bigger than I ever imagined. He must have a bigger spoon.