As I lie here surrounded by walls growing more dull by the day with tubing and pumps amuck and a chorus of alarms sounding off non-stop, each minute seems to last hours as I wait… Wait until the arrival of the bag that is my food… It has been 6 days. Hunger.
I never imagined the past week of my life would entail such and my nurse told me tonight it’s a miracle I’m even here, considering the trauma my body endured between the infection going sepsis coupled with extremely high temperatures, yet as the blood sugars remain in the fifties and my world begins to whirl, the hunger inside of me continues to rage.Taking all of my thoughts and even the very little energy I contain. Hunger.
Although I try to distract myself with social media, it is very still present like a lion ready to pounce. Have you ever been in this place? Can you relate? Maybe it was after playing the big championship game or an extra long day at work, after that big chemistry exam or maybe it’s your every day due to the cards you’ve been dealt right now?
Hunger… A natural human instinct and it’s roarings serve as reminders while most are spoiled to enjoy the delicacy of food multiple meals a day or those like me who get their food through tubes. Some places in both the states and throughout the world people are wondering where their next meal is going to come from. They know hunger all too well.Yet no matter your age or country or your feeding method, hunger doesn’t discriminate.
Thus today I want to take a look at this topic of hunger as it connects to the Bible, specifically Psalm 63, written by David, starting in verse 1…
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you,I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.
Let’s stop there. Did you read that first line? “You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek YOU…I thirst for YOU..” Notice it doesn’t say, I seek a peanut butter and jelly sandwich… I seek French fries. I thirst for a bottle of Coca Cola. I thirst for a milkshake. Or even just, I thirst for a glass of water. The primary focus here in David’s Psalm as should be ours is God. We should hunger for God more than anything else in this life. But what does this look like in an everyday sense? How can I hunger for more of God?
Typically when we start a diet, we first sit down to come up with a plan to figure out our starting point. We also need to do a “gut” check and see what our lives or bellies are full of as well as what we crave. What do you tend to fill your time and mind with other than God? Now this obviously could be food itself: ice cream…. hamburgers…. chocolate… Although I believe this hunger extends beyond just food. For our culture today has taught us to hunger for:
– popularity – technology – alcohol or other substances
– money -clothing – Sports figures/Movie stars
– ourselves, including what we feel and we are our own boss anyway, right?
Your cravings do not necessarily have to be all bad and could also be good things in your life, such as your studies, work, time with friends/family and exercising, that are being done in excess. For example, maybe you are taking all of the extra shifts at work to make more money. Although the loss is time with your little girl and your opportunity to go to church and you’re rarely having a devotion time with the Lord because you are so exhausted… What are you craving?
Just like a restaurant menu with thousands of options, you might have identified a few of the many places/people/things your hunger is placed in other than God. Keep thinking! Cravings are tough because they often just don’t go away on their own no matter how hard we try and sometimes even linger when time has gone by. For example, I have been on a feeding tube or other food alternative like my TPN for over a year now. Although I still crave ice cream and pancakes, sweet potatoes and watermelon (weird I know). However, if I try to eat those foods, I nearly immediately become extremely sick, often lasting for several hours up to days. So just as I had to teach my body I could not have what I wanted because it was not beneficial for my body, we too need to train our physical/mental/emotional/spiritual selves the same by changing our priorities of hunger for food and worldly pleasures with God. We are to hunger God alone and seek to build a relationship with him. Notice I didn’t say we are seeking a religion. We’re seeking a very real and alive person who has walked where we walk, thought what we think. He knows what we’re going through. His name is Jesus and the beautiful thing is we are able to talk to him in prayer anytime, whether daily, hourly, if you’re anything like me in this current season of life, it’s often minute by minute just to get through the day.. Discover and try various methods of connecting with scripture whether journaling, drawing pictures to illustrate a story or emotion you felt after reading, sitting in nature, listening to music or an Audio Bible version, having a prayer room or book…. The possibilities are endless so don’t hesitate to get creative.
Our world is full of disappointments, whether big or small like when you are when the money runs out or when you hear the last slurp of the milkshake. Although I promise that the more time that you seek and spend in the word of God, no matter how long you have been longing for more of him, you won’t be disappointed. When you seek, you will find (Proverbs 8:17) and not just minimally, Matthew 5:6,“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Jesus talks about in John 4 and 6 about how we “will never hunger nor thirst again” here on Earth or all eternity in heaven. Of course this doesn’t mean that we will never need to eat and drink on earth in a literal sense, but we will be filled with God and His presence and peace.
Now this doesn’t always mean we will understand his ways nor timing. He is God and we are not. Though we can trust God will be faithful to his promises and will do what is best for he “always works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). It is also incredible when you come in contact with others along this journey who are hungry for more of God too and you can encourage one another and share stories.
Therefore, as with David in response to God’s faithfulness, our response is none other than worship. Starting again back in Psalm 63, verse 3:
“I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods, with singing lips my mouth will praise you.”
So as I lay here tonight doubled over from my empty gut, the annoyance and the frustration is there, but so is my God and he is far greater than anything I have or will ever face, even hunger pain. So I will place my focus where it belongs as I seek more of him. Forever to him be all glory, honor, and praise.