I don’t know about you, but I probably get “hangry” a bit more often than I should, especially if it includes a lack of cereal and granola in the diet. But all jokes regarding physical food aside, what about when we are hungry for something that food and water can’t satisfy? Like the Sahara Desert running deep inside of our veins, what happens when we are starving for things that only God can provide?
The Need for Hunger
In the Scriptures of Psalm 107:9, the Psalmist remarks,
For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things. – Psalm 107:9
We are hungry and dependent on God to fill us up in an overflowing manner. Just as a mother bird provides for her young, so too does God dig up our nourishment and feed it into our bodies that are often frail and weak from lack of His power within us. Therefore, perhaps it is good to be dry and empty, perhaps starving, so that He can fill us back up with more of Him and satisfy our deepest longings.
Think about it, if your stomach clock never went off, you would never know you were hungry, and thus, you wouldn’t put vitamins, minerals, and nutrients back into your body from lack of realizing what you needed. If we didn’t experience these hunger pains, as minimal or monumental as they might be, we would never realize our need and dependence on food and water to sustain our bodies. In the same way, sometimes God allows us to reach a point of dryness in order to recognize our need and ultimate longing for Him. Without experiencing this thirst, this saltwater in our lungs that seems to tickle our vocal cords until we rinse it out would never recognize a need for cleansing.
The Only One Who Can Satisfy the Hunger
Through the Scripture listed above, we accordingly learn two things: 1) God satisfies the longing soul, and 2) He fills the hungry soul with good things. This tells us that we are hungry when we are at our wit’s end and have nothing left of ourselves to give. That is when God comes in to provide us with good things! He never has us experience hunger unless He is going to use that hunger to bring us closer to Him and satisfy that need. With this, I ask you, what are you hungry for today? What are you searching for in life? What are you really starving for? What desires are you craving that overtakes your heart, soul, and mind?
When you think about a longing soul, how do you achieve your satisfaction? Do you hope to find it in a new job, relationship status, career, adventure? Does your soul crave to make money and buy things, or help the poor find Jesus? Whatever it may be, God reminds us that unless we have chosen to place Him first in our lives and seek His Will above all else, the dull and aching hunger pains inside of us will still remain. Like young lions hunting for prey, we will “suffer want and hunger” but find no rest (Psalm 34:10a, ERV). Yet, for those who have marked the King as their most prized possession and are living for what He wants regardless of the cost, “those who seek the Lord [will] lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10b, ERV). Though the lions “may roar and growl” in hunger (Job 4:10-11), God will always provide for His children as our “sun and shield” (Psalm 84:11, ERV). Unto Him, praise the Lord who “executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry” (Psalm 146:7, ERV).
God will always quench our thirst. Even in our driest seasons and most excruciating hunger, if we come to Him and ask, “Lord, here I am, please satisfy these desires and longings in me,” He will surely provide the most delicious five-course meal that you’ve ever tasted, according to His will. One that satisfies desires so much deeper than physical hunger but penetrates the spiritual soul.
The next time you get hungry for something, rather a meal, your next adventure, or something you know your heart doesn’t really need, think about what you are longing for and why. At the root of your hunger, diagnose the conditions for which you desire and allow those pangs of craving to draw you closer to the one who perhaps made you hungry in the first place. Remember, “and the hungry soul He fills with good things” (Psalm 107:9, ERV). Similarly, Mary in her hunger for a child chose to praise God for the blessing within her that would soon save the world (Jesus).
He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. – Luke 1:53
God, like Mary I hunger for the promises you provide and the desires you have placed in my heart to seek you fully. To serve you authentically with a brave heart that doesn’t question amidst the pain, but simply chooses to listen, submit, and obey. You whisper to me in Luke 6:21 that,
Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. – Luke 6:21
Hunger for God as you wait, question, endure, and hope amidst whatever strikes. I promise you that He will satisfy you like nothing ever has before.