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
“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