Tuesday, January 17, 2012

366 Days of Gratefulness ~ Day 15

Being a school teacher Nathan gets paid once a month, so we do our major grocery shopping once a month.  After the groceries have been bought and put away, I feel comforted and secure when I look at the full cabinets and refrigerator.  I'm assured we are not going to go hungry.  However, when we start entering that last week before payday the cabinets and the refrigerator begin to become empty, and the balance in the checkbook lowers.  I then start to panic.  What if we run out of food and we have no money to buy any?  Are my kids going to go hungry?  There isn't any validity to my panic.  I know we are not going to go hungry.  Even if we were to run out of food we have family and friends we could go to.  I'm not really sure where that fear comes from, unless it's because I know there were times my mom wondered how she was going to feed us.  Somehow she always found a way though, and we never went hungry.

I don't know what true hunger feels like.  Sure I get hungry right before it's time for my next meal.  My stomach begins to growl and my mood ... well, let's just say when my blood sugar begins to drop I'm not pleasant to be around.  But to be hungry and not know where or when my next meal will come ... to have my stomach ache because I am so hungry ... to be so weak from hunger I can hardly move ... well, I have no idea what that is like.  The short term growls of my stomach don't even compare to the pain of true hunger.

Our pastor's sermon on Sunday was titled, "The Satisfaction of Starvation".  He has been preaching on The Beatitudes the past few weeks, and it's been a time of spiritual growth for me.  I've learned so much.  As I think about all of the things he has said and go back and read over my notes, I find myself searching my heart deeper.  I see up close just how wicked and empty my heart is  ... I realize I am starving spiritually ... and it drives me to the cross.  He's only about halfway through The Beatitudes.  By the time he's finished I may be parked at the cross.

But isn't that where I should be anyway?  I have never had to experience physical starvation, but I have been at the point of spiritual starvation many times.  My spiritual hunger has been so great I should never want to leave the foot of the cross.  Yet, I do.  I think I can feed my hunger with other things.  Other things that become idols in my life.  An idol can be anything ... anything that you want more than Jesus.  We all have them, but we have to get rid ourselves of them.  I don't know about you, but I often have to do this on a daily basis.  The more I search my heart ... the closer I take a look at what it truly looks like ... the more I realize just how many idols I have.

As I was reading through some of my notes, one line jumped out at me.

"I will never be satisfied if I don't find Jesus."

I can guarantee you those were not my words.  It was a quote from Caleb.  My sanctification hasn't progressed as much as his.

Physical hunger is different than spiritual hunger.  I can eat a big meal and satisfy my physical hunger.  I try to satisfy my spiritual hunger with food sometimes, but it never works.  My spiritual hunger can only be filled with Jesus.

Only Jesus.

Caleb said on Sunday, the more Jesus satisfies our hunger the greater our hunger is.

I've chewed on the statement the past few days.  The more He satisfies my hunger, the greater my hunger for him becomes.  Why?

Because the more I know Him, the more I want of Him.  I want more of His love.  I want more of His peace.  I want more of grace and mercy.  I want more of Him because with Him, I lack nothing.  He fulfills my every desire, my every need.

It seems crazy to just get up and walk away from all of that trying to find something else to fill my hunger.  I tend to forget just how wicked and dark my heart truly is and just how wrong it can lead me.  The only answer I can seem to come up with that would explain why I do that is I'm fallible.  Yet, when I see how wicked my heart is, I want to turn and run.  I'm learning to run to Him.  I never have to panic His love that fulfills my spiritual hunger will run out.  There is an endless supply.

He will supply everything I will ever need, and my need for Him will never end.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." ~ Matthew 5:6 

I am so grateful Jesus drew me to Him.  I am grateful He made it easy for me to find Him when I go the wrong way.  I am grateful He gave me the desire to truly want to know Him ... to thirst for Him ... to hunger for Him.  And I'm grateful He will always and forever supply all my needs.

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