From the time we are born, it is one of our most driving desires – to get our bellies full. Kids have a built in alarm against hunger – when they want fed, they let you know. We can go a while without food, but the longer we do, the more we are reminded of our hunger. Every night this week, I have had food cravings before going to bed. Most nights I eat plenty earlier in the evening at dinner time, but still, I am getting into a pattern of a late snack. I don’t need it, but I am really starting to crave it. Who is in charge, me or my stomach? What are you hungry for?
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3
What lengths will you go to get the meal you want? Maybe it is a certain restaurant you will drive hours for to sit down for your favorite meal, a special desert that only your mom can make, or a certain sweet corn that you track down when the season draws near. People will drop a lot of cash to get that special meal or drink that they long for. Is it worth the effort? It must be, or we wouldn’t be doing it. Do we put forth the same effort to fill our spiritual hunger as we do to meet our physical needs?
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
We are often reminded throughout scripture of the connection between our spiritual needs in relation to our physical hunger and thirst. God provided manna and water in the desert when they were in need. Jesus began his ministry with a 40 day fast as he was tempted in the desert. Most of his miracles involved meeting the physical desires (blind, lame, sick, hungry) of those he encountered, while emphasizing the even greater spiritual needs that they had. We are reminded to give thanks before gorging ourselves on whatever sits on our plate. The very act of taking communion incorporates all of our senses in the process. When we fast, our hunger reminds us of an even greater need for God in our lives.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6
As we start to reap the benefits of our gardens and other Summer time produce, let us be reminded of how fragile our lives are. We wouldn’t have to go more than a day without food, before we would start taking drastic measures to get what we want. The next time you celebrate around food or sit down to your favorite steak, be reminded of how blessed we are that our physical needs are so well met, but even more so, sing and praise Him for meeting every spiritual hunger that we long for. When that hunger comes back time and again, know where you can go to be fully satisfied.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
Strength and Courage in Christ,