I have felt the past few years of my education that I have been in a state of “emptiness.” It was a bit of feast or famine. Either I felt extremely close to God, able to communicate and listen to his every message, or I felt that when I came to worship I not only didn’t feel that I could worship, but that I had nothing to offer to God in that worship. My spiritual life has been a struggle at times to continue a conversation with God. I have found an emptiness, a barrenness of the soul that leaves only a hunger behind.
Hunger is an amazing state to be in. At first, you just complain of hunger pains. You sit around and wonder when the food will show up. I was fattened on my “feeding” that I received at church and school. I did very little to grow personally. I just expected God to show up, and I would eat. Food doesn’t work that way, especially spiritually. Here, God has come and told us that he will quench the thirst of those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Mark 5:6, in the beatitudes, Christ states that those who do hunger and thirst will be filled. What a promise! Those who hunger will be filled.
My frustrations grow as I become hungrier. As I go further, I find that what I used to believe was food is actually nothing of the sort. I cannot fill my soul with empty lines and occasional sermons. I need regular food to grow. I must feed, must go to God in my hunger to be filled. This is the only way to grow spiritually.
I have found that what I hungered for was not what I needed. So often we find ourselves desiring what is not good for us. It is amazing to think that temptation is nothing more then the lie that says that what is evil is actually good. Christ experienced temptation, especially 40 days in the desert. But in all that time, he never saw evil as good. He never let his humanity control his whole self. He kept his eye on his Father. He knew, and was in fact himself, the Truth of God.
Hunger is indeed a strange place to be. Proverbs 16:26 states ” The laborer’s appetite works for him; his hunger drives him on.” Hunger drives us to grow, to change, to struggle for survival. After a time of complaining, I have found myself changing my appetite. What I used to eat no longer serves me. It no longer fills me. I must have the Truth, the true food, the real deal. Nothing less will suffice!
God has continually promised to take care of those who are in his flock. As the Shepherd, he leads us to green pastures. In the desert, God provided manna and quail after the Israelites hungered and complained. Christ cooked fish for some of his disciples after he arose from the grave.
I believe the best example of feeding us in our hunger is found at the last supper. Here, Christ offered the first communion with the disciples. Besides everything else that happened there, Jesus offered his body for us to eat. We hunger for communion with God. Then come. Come to Christ, take of his body and his blood, and remember his sacrifice. This is the gift of God to those who hunger for him. God will provide! He will feed me in his time, in his way, in his method. Am I to wait? Am I to complain? No. I am only to hunger. I have found that the best times of praise are the times that I choose to praise even though I feel I have nothing to come to God with. God will provide! This is a promise that I will trust in. God will feed me. I now hunger, but this is a hunger for the real deal, for the true Christ, and with my own personal pride and prejudices removed, I can worship, glorify, and be transformed from “inside out.”