Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hungering and Thirsting for God

In a world of multiplicity, including bounteous sources for satisfaction, we can easily miss the truth that appears right in front of us every moment of every day. The Lord, our living God, is providing us ample food and water in the focused meal of abundance:

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.”

~Matthew 5:6 (Msg)

But we readily present ourselves before the sizeable and bloating banquets on offer elsewhere and everywhere. The meal of salvation is, contrarily, scant-from-view, in that it requires a search. What is characteristic of humanity is we fall into the arms of convenience, or give up on that search too easily.

If we hunger and thirst for God—for righteousness in true humility—we will win a meal so handsome, it reveals all other meals as junk food. But, then, many people are more than satisfied with food that cannot, in their moment, or in the end, satisfy. No wonder there is so much obesity—the chubbiness of material excess, and where our spirituality shrinks.

An Everlasting Food Revealing An Everlasting Source

When we come before the table of food that materially-stoked others can know nothing about (John 4:32), and we have spiritual enlightenment enough to understand the context and power of such food, we truly have the keys to our world—beyond worldliness. The world was meant to come with God, not function without Divine Presence and Provision.

Indeed, the world without God is a darkly unimaginative reality, promising much, but delivering little. There is a veneer about it, that which, when scratched away, reveals a tribal nastiness that hardly bears recognition in the face of an uninquisitive mind.

The reason many people don’t see this veneer covering almost everything is it so implicit in our world, and we see it whenever the world tries to exist there before us without God. The world is a cart; it needs a horse (the Lord) to pull it—to make it functional and, more, meaningful.

And the relevance of the Source of the real food begins to unfold when we find, with everything at our disposal, our meaning has disappeared, or perhaps has never appeared or even existed. Meaning comes first—it has to. What good is there scheduling ‘the what’ before ‘the why’? Why marry for the sake of marrying? Or, why settle for a career in order to earn income when a career is not fulfilling? ‘The why’ must come first.

The Rank Imperative Of Time

We should have noticed, already, that this Divine Meal we speak of comes implicit with the need to get our priorities for time right. We are fed, spiritually, by the fundamental nuances; the spending of our time.

Why did see Israelites chase after water and food in the desert? They were thirsty and hungry—dying from lack of these. Yet, they lacked more the spiritual sustenance and faith of vision. Such faith would have seen them nourished both physically and spiritually. But they chose to negate the spiritual by putting the physical ahead.

We are all Israelites chasing after water and food in our respective deserts. We can have the easy-to-gain water and food; God will give us these and, yet, we won’t be blessed. We must thirst and hunger after what is truly significant: the truth and fullness of God. Then we will be filled.

What do we hunger and thirst for: bread or the righteousness of God; water or justice?

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

Graphic Source:

This article is also part of a series to be compiled on Godspace for Lent.

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