I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14 NIV)
One night as Brad and I prepared to put our kids to bed, our middle child, Hunter, had an emotional meltdown. Our little gumdrop went from sweet to sour in two seconds flat. The day had been packed full with school and other activities, and it was late. He should have turned into a pumpkin a smidgen before his meltdown took place. You know how those days are.
In an eight-year-old kind of way, Hunter was completely irrational. Tears flowed freely as he floated down his raging river of drama. He said that nobody loved him and that he felt mistreated. I had to just shake my head and wonder, “How in the world could one of my children feel unloved?”
The love Brad and I have for our children is immovable-mountain strong. We are not perfect, nor do we love them perfectly, but we do tell them of our love daily with words. We show them through our actions. We hug and affirm. We laugh and play with them. We spend our lives loving our children. It amazes me that any of our children could think, for even one second, that they are not loved.
As we endured the tear-filled bedtime drama, Brad and I suddenly realized why our son had such a dim perspective: he was hungry. Really hungry.
Earlier that evening, Hunter had chosen not to finish his dinner. Our son believes he should have choices. We assure him that hedoes have choices--eat or be hungry.
Simple as that.
As I emptied the dishwasher this morning, it occurred to me that we were created to be hungry. Our bodies need constant nourishment, and hunger is simply a trigger designed by God to stimulate a necessary response. Whether we’re talking about physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual hunger, you and I are temporarily satisfied when an appropriate response meets a need.
Think about it...
The satisfying response to physical hunger is food and drink.
The satisfying response to emotional hunger is love (among other things).
The satisfying response to mental hunger is knowledge.
And the only satisfying response to spiritual hunger is God. Nothing can take His place. Not the latest-greatest beauty gimmick, not the most fabulous outfit, not a hunky man or a good smelling baby. Not money in the bank, not that promotion you might be after, not the affection you might be craving, and not the appreciation you desire for your efforts.
Nothing can supplant God if you want to satisfy your spiritual hunger.
Our souls constantly demand to be fed, and make no mistake about it: if God does not have the proper place in your life, your soul will remain hungry. When I invite God into my days, I experience His satisfying presence no matter what I face. But when I don’t pray, when I don’t read my Bible, and when I don’t praise, I get hungry. Really hungry (not to mention grouchy).
Christians are hungry people. Just like the Israelites who wandered in the desert, we need God’s daily bread, His spiritual manna. Jesus taught us to ask for a daily portion. In the New Testament book of Matthew, Jesus took a moment to teach His followers how to pray. In that prayer, commonly referred to as the Lord’s Prayer, He said, “Give us today our daily bread”(Matthew 6:11).
He didn’t ask to be fed for an entire week--just for today.
We would be wise to do the same.
Some people might think that once we become Christians all of our spiritual hunger subsides. Not so! I’ve found that the more I get to know God, the more I want to know Him. The more I experience His peace, presence, and power in my life, the more I want to experience His peace, presence, and power. I crave Him more.
Every day we eat bread (food) to keep us healthy and strong. We stay healthy and strong spiritually by continually communing with Jesus. He calls Himself the Bread of Life as well as the Living Water. In order for food and water to sustain and strengthen us physically, we must eat and drink it. Likewise, we need to call on Jesus each day to sustain us spiritually.
Dear Lord, Thank You for the invitation to come, eat, drink, and be satisfied in You. You are all that I need, and more than enough. I pray that You will bear the weight of the burdens on my heart today, and ask that You would fill my soul with Your rest.
In Jesus’ Name I pray,