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

All forms of hunger serve us, yet we often look at hunger as a problem to solve and dispose of it so quickly we never realize the value it holds. The physical state of hunger produces in us clarity, discipline, lightness and energy… yes, energy! 

Mental hunger initiates our senses to look for better outcomes and to not be satisfied with the mediocre. 

Though we know mismanaged emotional hunger can and does lead to vice, it can also be used creatively to produce the most beautiful art. 

Spiritual hunger creates in us a unique ache and is the prerequisite for true discipleship.  

We all wake up each morning with hunger.  Our appetite for information and connection is piqued.  We can use our natural hunger in worship and prayer, discovering for ourselves that a life hid in Christ is not just a neat turn of phrase; it’s a reality available to every one of us. 

When Jesus speaks of a food you know not if He’s speaking of that very same blessing, that very same sustenance He talks about in Matthew 5:6.  To hunger and to thirst is to endure what feels like emptiness while God works in us His transforming process.  It is up to us to create the space in our crowded lives for the Divine presence of the Holy Spirit.  It is up to us to prioritize His presence in our day above all else.

I’ve heard it said that there are people who eat to live and there are people who live to eat.  I clearly live in the latter group when it comes to my food.  I’ve never forgotten to eat.  However, in my spiritual walk it’s just the opposite.  I can easily forget about the banquet breakfast God has waiting for me in my quiet time while I sit there mindlessly snacking on the never ending drivel of information and entertainment (or work emails) resting in the palm of my hand.  Of course the phone is a utility in our modern world, I get that, but it also has the power to usurp any meaningful interaction with God, our families and with others.  When I’m particularly attached to that device in the palm of my hand, I try to remember what I would see if I were looking in the palm of my Savior’s hand.  And when I do that, it’s pretty easy to see if I’m honoring God or self in that moment.  How we choose to satiate our hunger, whether its the food we eat or don't eat (physical), the way we choose to occupy our minds (mental), the license we give ourselves to misbehave (emotional) or the restraint we exercise on ourselves to hold a quiet space in time for God to speak into us (spiritual); these choices will seed in us a great harvest or a field of weeds. 

Hunger is our next opportunity to choose well. It is a paradox.  That is, to stay hungry is to be filled.  I desperately want all that Christ has for me and the hungrier I am for it the more blessed I am in it.  Protect your hunger and the energy it contains in all areas of your life.  Remember, your hunger serves a unique and transforming purpose that helps you, as the Proverb says, ‘wind ever upwards’.  (Prov 15:24)

~ Lynda Varada

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