I know what it means to be hungry. It’s really a long story that should be saved for another day, so without going into too much detail, I will tell you the reason why I was hungry. I was sick. In the year of 2006, I had lost a total of 30 pounds, and not on purpose, mind you. I was not purposely starving myself. Food had become my mortal enemy, for whenever I put food in my mouth, my abdomen screamed with pain. The moment I put food on my tongue I had to jump and run to the bathroom. This went on for months til I decided I was not going to eat anymore. Instead, I regressed back to the eating habits of infants. Yes. I ate baby food for two months.
While I wrote off food as my mortal enemy, I still dreamed of it. I longed for food. Real food. Not the baby food I was eating. I dreamed of hamburgers. I’m not even exaggerating to make a point. I really dreamed of hamburgers. I dreamed of hamburgers, tacos, and donuts. Powdered donuts. The baby food did not satisfy!
The word “satisfy” is translated from the Hebrew word “saba”, pronounced sa-vah’, and means “filled to satisfaction; have enough”.
No, I certainly was not getting enough nourishment from the baby food. Hence, the reason why I was losing weight.
There are other things in this world that I have learned are not enough. My job does not satisfy. Relationships with others do not satisfy, though they are helpful. Material possessions do not satisfy. Wealth and good health for an active lifestyle do not satisfy.
I might long for these things. I do long for these things. I got to be honest. It would be nice to be surrounded by friends that love me and to have a doting husband. It would be great if I had the money to buy all the things I’ve ever wanted and to never be touched with an illness.
At one point in my life I had at least part of these things and then had them removed from my life. I have found these things to be a distraction that kept me from discovering the true longing of my heart. Once removed, I realized a deeper longing–that longing for God.
Jesus, after feeding the five thousand, spoke to the crowd that remained the next day about the bread of heaven. He said,
“For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” ~ John 6:33
Did you catch that? He said, “For the bread of God is he”. He didn’t use the personal pronoun “it”. No, instead, Jesus used the personal pronoun “he” in describing the bread of heaven.
The disciples then pleaded with him to give them that bread still thinking of their stomachs. They didn’t get what Jesus was saying just then so Jesus went a little further to make it plain.
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” ~ John 6:35
I know it sounds a little morbid to say, but how do we feast upon Jesus? Not literally of course, but how does Jesus satisfy?
Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I always seem to find a song to reference to make my point, but here I go again. 🙂 Toby Mac‘s song, “Made To Love”. He was right when he sings, “I was made to love You…Made to adore You. I was made to love and be loved by You…”
There is something about worship that connects us to God. Something about praise. Something about prayer that brings us into the same room as God where we can reach out and touch Him. I don’t fully understand it; I just know that it does.
Psalm 63 reveals this mystery of communion between God and ourselves. The psalmist describes his hunger after God and knows only the Lord can satisfy. “My soul will be satisfied with fat and rich food (a.k.a. a great steak dinner…yum) and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed and meditate on you in the night watches.” (Ps. 63:5)
It is true.
We find a picture of a table that God wants to set up before us in Psalm 23 and also in Song of Solomon. The Lord wants to bring us to His banqueting table and feed us. The table is spread out with rich foods. Like a buffet at a restaurant, we can indulge and gorge all we want. This food will make us fat but good fat that we can pass on to someone else that needs it. Sorry, I know that’s a crude analogy. Who wants someone else’s fat? Well, I believe me, I did when I lost all that weight!
Christmas Banquet Table — Longwood Gardens Conservatory (PA) December 2012 (Photo credit: Ron Cogswell)
Jesus has food that satisfies. He is that food. He invites us to His banqueting table to eat. All we have to do is pull up a chair and dig in. We can’t expect to get full if we have someone else go in our stead. No! I tried that. I asked my family to eat for me since I couldn’t but I was not satisfied. We can’t do that in the physical realm, so why do we expect that to work in the spiritual?
Even in the times like a few nights ago when I went to God pouring out my complaint to Him and telling Him how I hurt and how scared I am, I find myself leaving the table surprisingly satisfied. In the exchange of releasing my pain, He gave me Himself to fill.
Beloved, wherever you are today, know that Jesus has a table spread out for you with a chair and a placard with your name on it. If you are hungry, come. Eat. Dig in. Pour out your heart to Him and let Him fill you with the richness of who He is.
“In Your presence, God, I am completely satisfied.” ~ Phil Wickham, Divine Romance