I realize that yesterday’s post was a little… dark?… The same basic theme today… but lighter…
“Blessed are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matt. 5:6)
Have you ever been really hungry?
I once participated in a 21-day fast. A complete fast was not required (or even recommended, for that matter) but I decided to experience the real deal. So for 21 days, I ate nothing – and I drank only water.
There are some very interesting things that occur to you when you forego food. First, your body goes into starvation mode, and begins drawing nutrition from your fat reserves (I had plenty, so no worries!) Your sense of smell is tremendously heightened (at least mine was!) – I could smell the slightest of odors over surprisingly great distances (And people’s breath became a real issue! Wow!)
But the question everyone wants to ask is: How bad did your hunger get?
I will be honest, after the first few days (which were pretty rough!) the sensation of hunger wasn’t overwhelming (chomping on all that fat, I guess). It was there. It was a constant dull ache. But after the first few days, the hunger was not a huge problem.
Until I was getting close to the time to end the fast…
I guess, with the anticipation of finally getting to eat food again, my mind went into overdrive (thinking of what I wanted to eat first… and the quantity of what I would eat [a whole wildebeest was sounding pretty good!]). My body began to add to the problem (with what I can only describe as “screaming fits” wanting to eat something… anything… and right now!). The last days were actually harder than the first, simply because the end was in sight… and I was truly, overwhelmingly hungry.
Every fiber of my being was focused upon eating food once again.
Here’s the cool thing… Once you finally get to taste food again – it’s like entering a whole new world. Everything tastes amazing! Things that would normally just be “meh” were like the best tastes ever!
Then it occurred to me… because of my intense hunger, foods were more intensely satisfying. My hunger actually deepened my experience of tasting and eating – and gave me an enhanced appreciation for food and its place in our lives.
Then, a more important thing occurred to me… The Bible invites us to “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8) But this “tasting” and “seeing” can only occur when we are truly hungry for Him.
I think it is one of the great tragedies of life that we can get our fill of so many other things that our “taste” for God ends up being less satisfying than it should be. It is especially difficult for us in modern American culture… we can get our fill of just about anything and everything, at any time we want. We do not experience the fullness of satisfaction in God because He is just one more thing we are trying to add to our already crowded “stomachs.”
Of course, God has a wonderful solution to this problem: Empty our selves… so we can be filled with what really fills us and satisfies us.
This is at the very heart of what Jesus is telling us… if we want to live a truly blessed life we must be full of the only One who can truly satisfy our souls. And to be full of Him, we must be hungry and thirsty only for Him.
Prayer Focus: God, make me aware of what fills my life that keeps me from hungering for You.