Developing a Spiritual Hunger for the Bread of Life
“I hungry.” If you've ever spent more than 30 minutes with my Kemper, you're probably laughing a little because you’ve heard him say those words, maybe multiple times. It's cute at first, but after the umpteenth time, it makes me a little crazy. The kid is a bottomless pit.
Today in the middle of a dance party jamming out to Toby Mac as I fed Jayla, Kemper stopped his sweet moves and said his trademark phrase, “I hungry.” I had been reading a book on my phone while he danced and Jayla nursed. When I'm in the middle of a good book, I want to fill every spare moment reading it. (I am so close to finishing a series by Christian author Karen Kingsbury. She's such a talented writer. Sometimes I catch myself ready to pray for the fictional characters—talk about character development. Anyway . . .)
When Kemper interrupted my reading, his simple little words stopped me mid-sentence. Not because of his dire need for food, but because I realized I need to be more like him. Unlike Kemper, many times I don’t even realize I’m hungry. While he never misses a chance to eat, there have been days when I’ve forgotten about my own lunch. I get something ready for Kemper and then Jayla is being good, so I keep working while Kemper eats. About 2:00 when both kids are napping, I'll realize I never ate lunch myself.
This happens with my spiritual life, too. I may go days before realizing I haven't sat down for quiet time with my Bible. In my busyness, I forget to pray and instead relied on myself to get things accomplished. There are days when God’s presence seems to be missing from my life.
Then, I start to feel a spiritual hunger—my heart rumbles and growls instead of my stomach.
The last two weeks have been sort of like that for me. So today when Kemper told me he was hungry once again, I decided I'm hungry too. I want to be hungry all the time, hungry for God’s word and company. I don't want to go days or even hours before I realize my hunger for the Lord, though. I want to be hungry for Him every day, every moment. I want to crave his presence in my life.
I know when I am hungry for God, His Spirit will come. “I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it” (Psalm 81:10).
Sometimes, we go through the day-to-day routines of life without ever opening our mouths to the Lord. If our mouths never open, how can God fill them? Instead of reaching for my book in my spare moments, why am I not reaching for the Lord? Reaching for my Bible, prayer, or meditating on God’s goodness. We need to be hungry for Him all the time. We can look for Him in everyday blessings and look to Him when everyday problems weigh us down.
When we say “I hungry” to God, he doesn't respond with, “Sorry, you have to wait for lunchtime” as I do to Kemper. He says, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:48).
Jesus is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—the kitchen is always open for the Bread of Life.
Kemper would snack all day long if I let him, so I’m thinking I’ll follow his example. I want to “snack” with the Lord through Scripture, Christian music, devotionals, prayer, or conversations about the Lord. I want to be hungry for him constantly. In First Thessalonians, the writer says, “and we urge you, brothers and sisters, warn those who are idle and disruptive . . .” (verse 14a).
Oftentimes, I struggle with becoming idle in my spiritual life, and I fail to feel hunger for the Lord.
Today, my 3-year-old reminded me what it means to be hungry all the time, and my day has been filled with prayer, conversation with a good friend about faith, a heart full of gratitude for my many blessings, and a revived hunger for my Lord and Savior.
Lord, please send Your Spirit and make me a bottomless pit—always hungry for more of You. Thank You, Father, for being available at any moment when that hunger strikes. Help me not only to crave You more but help me share You with those around me so they too may be filled with the Bread of Life.
In Jesus’ Name,
Originally published 02/18/2016