Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hungry and Thirsty

Some people are literally hungry and thirsty. They are our brothers and sisters. They live in homes and on the streets, holding signs that say something like: homeless and hungry. Anything will help.

While some are literally hungry and thirsty, all people are spiritually hungry and thirsty. The homeless person and the family that lives on Park Avenue, the drunkard and the prudent, the adulterer and the monogamous. All people are hungry for meaning and purpose in their lives. All people are hungry for love, joy, inner peace, confidence and courage.

Oftentimes, we satisfy our hunger and quench our thirst with substances and activities that don’t actually satisfy and quench. We fill the void for love with food and alcohol. We fill the need for peace with television and the internet. We fill the empty place where joy should be with shopping trips and cheap thrills.

Example: I know a woman who is insecure and desperate for affirmation. She tries to fill those holes in herself with expensive clothes in a size 2. But it doesn’t work. Her efforts are futile.

What we really need is not more things or more activity. What we really need is: close personal and intimate relationships that truly satisfy our human longings. I would be nothing without my relationships to my parents, siblings and childhood friends. How about you? Do you depend on those relationships as well?

What we really need is to feel good about ourselves and believe in ourselves. You are a beautiful and good person created by God and of sacred worth. It’s important that we know that, believe that, and be that. Live boldly in God’s love.

What we really need is to trust in God and rely on God to lead us in the direction that is best for our lives. What can we say about God? In the fullest sense of the word, God is our blessing; God is our abundance; God is the feeling inside that gives us peace and comfort, desire and motivation.

Our faith in Christ can nourish us. Faith is believing that God will help us and provide for us when it comes to things that we cannot control. We can’t control the behavior of other people or the random situations that come up in our lives. But we can trust in the Lord to help us through.

We can also control how we respond to the hardships we encounter. We can control our anxiety and our fear. We can take steps to move on from our pasts, live the best we can in the present and create for ourselves secure and positive futures.

I encourage you to spend some time in self-reflection and figure out what you are truly craving beyond the dinners and the nights out, and then take it to the Lord in prayer. God is listening to us. Jesus wants to fill our hungry spirits and quench the thirst of our souls. The Holy Spirit is moving in our lives to bring us the love, peace and joy that we so desire.

Deep down you know what you are truly seeking. You can give it to yourself. You can ask other people that you trust to give it you. And you can ask God to bless you. Beyond that, we are just grasping at those things that don’t satisfy.

What do we truly desire? The Lord in all God’s magnificence. If we let God reign as Lord in our lives, we will not hunger or thirst anymore.