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To say I was hungry doesn’t even come close. I was famished! I was so hungry my stomach was gnawing my backbone. I was so hungry I could eat my elbows. I was so hungry I could eat a horse and still chase the jockey for dessert. I had skipped breakfast and missed lunch and it was now evening. By the time I was home, I was ravenous. I walked straight to the refrigerator without even acknowledging my wife by asking, “How was your day dear?” I opened the fridge and starting consuming anything edible without a wrapper on it. I was the carnivore who just brought down a gazelle. I was a caveman gnawing on the mastodon he had just killed with a spear. Get the picture? HUNGRY!

Funny thing about a hungry man . . . he will find food and he will eat! Three day old pizza?
Scrumptious. Lunch meat past the expiration date? Lip-smacking! Dried up birthday cake from who cares how long? Mouthwatering. I stood there with the door opened, cool Freon breezes water-falling down onto my feet, eating the shelves clean. And then it happened; “There’s warm KFC in the oven for you dear.”

“AHHHHHHH!” There I stood, chewing my way through old, tasteless, poorly preserved foods that didn’t delight the senses as I had hoped. And all the while, I was missing out on one of my favorite meals. The pain of it all!

According to scripture, there is another hunger in each of us. There is a thirst that just won’t
go away. Jesus said, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6).

David wrote, “O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; my soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You, in a dry and weary land where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).

Psalm 63 was written by King David when he was in the wilderness. We don’t believe this was the time he was running from Saul because verse 11 tells of people speaking lies about him. That’s much closer to the story line of when David’s own son, Absalom, was leading a revolt against his father. His own son drove him out of Jerusalem, out of the palace, and away from the temple. David is in a dark place. He was sucker punched. His legs had been knocked out from under him. He’s alone. He’s suffering. His heart is broken. Welcome to the wilderness. But it’s also here, in the wilderness, he writes; “. . . my soul thirsts for You!”

David has spoken of this thirst before; “ As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God” (Psalm 42:1). It’s just been a long time since it’s come up. Did David forget his inner thirst and hunger? Was he getting satisfied by other means?

Anyone of us can fall into the trap in this country of becoming hungry for money, hungry for
success, hungry for the American dream. Our appetites dictate the direction of our lives.

As John Piper puts it, “If we don’t experience strong desires for God, it is not because we have drunk deeply and are satisfied. It is because we have nibbled so long at the table of the world that our soul is stuffed with small things, and there is no room for the great.”

What if God suddenly starting chasing us away from chasing the small things and he started
drawing us to hungering for Him? How would you satisfy your new craving? God placed a hunger in us only He can satisfy. He placed a thirst in us only HE can quench.

What should one do when they are hungry and thirsty for a God experience? How can I feel
God and me are closer?

In our January series of sermons, we’ll uncover what Jesus says about praying, scripture,
communion, and worship. There is a homesickness in all of us for God. Join us as we discover how to satisfy this inner hunger, quench the inner thirst, by coming CLOSER.

[Ron Otto, preaching minister at Lincoln Christian Church]


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