Hunger is Good

Orchards in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah
Orchards in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Did you know that hunger is a God-given bodily function?  It’s necessarily convenient; you’re finally getting somewhere in your work and suddenly, “I’m hungry; I’d better take a break and get something to eat.”  Or we’re pushing toward the next summit, and it’s suddenly like, “I’m hungry.  Should I stop now or push on to the next viewpoint?”  And people trying to lose weight are like, “Why am I hungry all of the time?”

Shelves of fake food at the Strong Museum of Play, New York
Shelves of fake food at the Strong Museum of Play, New York

Physical hunger tells us that we need to eat; we need food to strengthen us to finish the hike, climb to the next summit, or get us out of the next crazy situation that may be just around the next corner in the trail.  God gave us the feeling of hunger to trigger our minds to tell us that we need to get nourishment.

Roasting marshmallows over a fire in Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania
Roasting marshmallows over a fire in Tiadaghton State Forest, Pennsylvania

So while it can be incontinent at times, hunger isn’t a bad thing.  It keeps us from fainting on the trail because we were so overwhelmed by the magnificent views that we completely forgot about the granola bars in our packs.  It strengthens us for the journey before us.  Jesus knows we need food; He said, “Look at the birds of the air… their heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:26)

Breakfast in Joshua Tree National Park, California
Breakfast in Joshua Tree National Park, California

Similar to physical hunger, spiritual hunger is also a useful tool.  It tells us that we are not as close to our heavenly Father as we should be.  It indicates that there is (in the words of Petra), “a higher place to go – beyond belief.”  It indicates that it’s time to move on from our current space and time into the new thing that God is doing.

Hiking into Egypt, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah
Hiking into Egypt, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah

God stirred up the hunger of the Israelites before Jesus came by sending John the Baptist to, “prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” (Matthew 3:3)  Their hunger drew them out to the wilderness to be baptized by John; that hunger combined with repentance prepared them to receive the Messiah.

Borrego Palm Springs Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California
Borrego Palm Springs Canyon, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California

Hunger is what moves us out of complacency, but it’s also what prepares us for what God is about to do.  When we’re hungry for Him, we’re more likely to feed ourselves on Him and His word.  This strengthens us with spiritual food.  The strength will be necessary for the next step of God’s journey for us.

Wildflowers on the "trail" up the Stairway to Heaven, Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Wyoming
Wildflowers on the “trail” up the Stairway to Heaven, Jedediah Smith Wilderness, Wyoming

Over the past year or so, I’ve seen hunger for God grow.  It doesn’t always manifest itself in pretty, God-honoring ways because people are turning to earthly things to fill the hunger that God is stirring up.  But if you can recognize the hunger, then you can recognize that God is calling to feast on Him and His goodness – and that will strengthen you for His road ahead.

One thought on “Hunger is Good

  1. Pam Newsome

    I can’t tell you how excited I am to run across your post! (Thank you Lord)
    I’m planning to travel for a wk or two each summer until I retire and then do it full time.
    I love the Lord and seek to keep Him number one in my life. I live aligned with”Gershom” Abraham named one of his boys that because he was a stranger in a strange land. It’s my reminder this is not my home. I’m just passing through. I don’t want to get too comfortable here. I love nature and want to spend time worshiping the Lord in His creation. I’m so tickled to find someone who sounds like a kindred spirit.
    I’m going to be preparing my corolla to travel in.
    Sister Pam