God Hunger

Tuesday, May 16, 2017
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Calls Us"1 (Lyrics)

Appetite doesn't always diminish with age.

At 95 years of age, you'd think that she'd eat like a bird. But not this nursing home resident. She's one of our church's shut-ins who recently found herself in the hospital. As I walked in, her daughter-in-law was busy feeding her a liquid diet composed of apple juice, chicken broth, and Jell-O. None of that sounded appetizing to me, but I hadn't been five days without food as she had. "Apple juice," she called, and her daughter-in-law put it to her mouth. "Chicken broth." And the same response. Then, "Jell-O." She continued to demand food until she had eaten every last bite and drunk every last drop.

I've watched many elderly people's appetites change. Some who were healthy eaters now eat just enough to get by — or don't, and dehydrate. Others experience a change of taste buds. Whereas they once ate healthy food, now, they want sweets. But this elderly lady wanted the good stuff. She ate anything and everything that they served her at the nursing facility.

As I watched her demand food to satisfy her hunger, I thought of this verse:

Matthew 5:6 – God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. (NLT)

Jesus addressed hunger, but He wasn't talking about physical hunger. Spiritual hunger was on His mind. Physical hunger, in the extreme, leads to death, but spiritual hunger can lead either to death or to a healthier life.

From the time a person is old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, God begins to create a spiritual hunger in their souls. This explains why all people groups in history have worshipped something. It might have been the elements of nature, or wooden or stone objects that represented their gods. Yet they worshipped.

What I do to satisfy this hunger is crucial. Turning to nature or man-made idols won't satisfy my appetite. My idols have never been constructed of stone or wood, but I have formed them in the shapes of sports, hobbies, work, and relationships. That was before I reached the point when I recognized that I had a hunger for God — to know Him better — to serve Him fully. I discovered that no thing, person, or relationship could properly take His place. The ache in my belly can be satisfied only by loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and spirit.

Let God, and God alone, satisfy your spiritual cravings.

Prayer: Father, create in us a hunger that only You can satisfy. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen Martin!

    Amen, Martin, may we always hunger and thirst for righteousness. Blessings.

    God bless you Martin! Amen!
    Jesus alone fills with bread of life!
    Good reminder!

    Hi Martin,
    Good stuff, you are so right, the man-made idols of this world don’t satisfy in the long run.
    Thank you for writing

    I don’t know Martin. birds have a pretty healthy appetite from what I can observe; not sure how we got the expression to “eat like a bird!” Anyway, this was a great lesson encouraging us to hunger and thirst for God. It reminded me that Jesus is the bread of life and the true manna that came down from heaven.

    Martin Wiles,
    You reminded me of Jesus’ words “I am the bread of life. 6:35: “He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me shall never be thirsty” (John 6:35).
    Keep writing.

    Good devotional Martin,
    It reminded me of all the visits to an elderly person I have made over the years. They were all struggling to get back to what for them is normal.
    What normal is for them is different for younger folk. It is what God made for all of us each day.
    God bless.

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