This mantra echoes in our home, hourly. We homeschool, which means my children are home to eat around the clock. I have no idea how we are going to afford groceries when there are four teenagers–three of them boys–in this house. All they do is eat!
They don’t ever seem to get full. They come down and grab granola bars, a handful of tortilla chips, or an apple (if I’m lucky) but return an hour later because these little snacks don’t fill them.
On afternoons like this one, after studies are done and children are free to play upstairs, I sit at my desk and await their parade. One after another they funnel down to my desk which sits a mere twelve steps from the pantry. Their cries sound desperate. (They’re excellent actors.) But, I know it’s only been minutes since their last snack and it’s less than two hours to dinner. They’re just “so” hungry.
And, so am I.
I follow the same pattern. I grab a few mini Butterfingers from the Halloween candy loot. (There’s so much in there, they don’t like those anyway . . .) I can’t think of a way to start the next paragraph, so I get up and search for food, again. Hmm . . .maybe these crackers will satisfy me.
What I’m looking for isn’t in there. I’m just bored. Tired. Looking for a diversion. I’m not really hungry.
At least not physically.
Are You Really Hungry?
Yet, hunger, deep hunger, plagues most women I know. Which of these can you relate to?
How many of us are hungry for affirmation? Our tummies growl until we can find someone to say we are good enough. We snack on the number of “likes” garnered by our Instagram selfies. We want a stamp of approval, real validation. We settle for a social media thumbs up. Our yearning for words-that-fill remains unmet.
How many of us are hungry for a real role model–a woman who will not only tell us how to live like Christ commands, but show us? Instead, we idolize everyone from glamorous starlets who wear the cute clothes we adore to celeb-Christian authors who say cute words we relate to. Yet, one by one our idols always let us down–leaving us empty. The starlet cracks under the Hollywood pressure and we wonder, “What happened to her?” The witty woman we set on the pedestal right next to Jesus re-works biblical truth.
Now who can we aspire to be like? Cravings for a real role-model continue.
How many of us are hungry for change? We want our lives to be different. We want to know real freedom, to break out of the slump–or the pit. We long for the new, the exciting, the fresh, the different. So, we head to the mall. Perhaps a new dress will give us that rush? Maybe a fresh haircut or professional blowout will add a pop of enthusiasm to our dull day-to-day.
Our wallets empty while our stomachs still growl.
Why Are We So Hungry?
We remain in a constant state of hunger, never satiated because we don’t stop to do what will fill us. Like my children, we don’t choose the snacks that satisfy. (And, I don’t mean Snickers!) We’re hungry because I we don’t feed ourselves well.
We’re hungry because we consume five hours of Netflix but only five minutes of God’s word.
We’re hungry because we read every page of last month’s Shape magazine but would be hard pressed to recite more than two verses about God’s unending love.
We’re hungry because we spend our evenings pressing “Like” instead of connecting with the ones we love.
We’re hungry because we’ve sent more texts to friends today than we’ve sent prayers to heaven.
Our bellies are full, but our souls are starving.
I’m not condemning . . .I do it too.
How to Fill Up
Yesterday morning this verse appeared in my daily reading. Proverbs 27:7: Even bitter tastes good to the hungry. King Solomon’s observation of how hunger skews our taste buds stirs me. Do I try to sustain myself with the stale crumbs of chasing substitute gods? Am I so ravenous that I drink the expired milk of other people’s affirmation instead of that of my Savior?
The truth is, when I’m full of Jesus, I’m not hungry. When I’m full of his words, I’m full of life. I’m not searching the floor for crumbs, I’m feasting at his table. John 6:35 says, “I am the Bread of Life, whoever comes to be will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Jesus fills. But, we have to let him. We have to seek him. We have to pursue this kind of nourishment. Make him our role model. Seek him for that affirmation. Trust him for the excitement, refreshment and freedom we crave.
We can’t snack our way through the day and expect to be full.
It’s not any easier for us to wait for his filling than it is for my children to wait for dinner. Those snacks . . . they are so, so tempting. But, when we remember that only He satisfies our hunger, than we can find satisfaction like no other.
What do you think?