It was 2:00am, and my stomach was turning most of the night. Troy and I had been out for a happy date night, but what ensued was horrible stomach pain. The following day, it kept me exhausted in bed or running to the bathroom. Finally near supper-time I was ready for some cup-of-soup. My appetite had returned; I was on the mend. We’re pretty sure it was flu, and not food poisoning, as Troy got it a couple days later.
But oh that feeling when your appetite returns and the thought of food doesn’t make your stomach turn. It’s a good sign; a healthy sign. It’s when you’re not hungry, ever, that something is wrong.
Isn’t that true to life and our walk with God? I’ve heard it said that the very fact that you hunger for more of God is a sign that the Holy Spirit is at work in your heart. Yet so often we get frustrated when that hunger isn’t being met. We balk at it and try to feed it in some entitled way – as though we should never ever feel discontent in our walk with the Lord. We run to quick-fixes – a book, a friend, the fridge, TV, social media – something or someone to find an answer to why we feel so ‘off’; so hungry.
As I lay in bed last night, thinking about our recovery from the flu, I was thinking how hunger is a sign of health; spiritually. But it’s how we handle it that gets us in a rut.
Jesus told the masses in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
Hunger is a blessing, and it gives us three choices: 1) continue feeding that hunger, seeking the Lord. Galatians 6:9 says to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we WILL reap a harvest if we do not give up.” 2) fill that hunger with tangible sources other than Jesus Himself, and likely remain discontented (the way it goes in my experience!) 3) do nothing. And the hunger slowly gives way to apathy, and not even realizing you’re not eating anymore.
Don’t despise the hunger. If you’re frustrated with your relationship with God, and want more, then wrestle with it. Lean in to it. Don’t give up. It’s a sign of health to want more of your relationship with God. Let Him feed your hunger, and He promises to fill you up.