Sunday, June 29, 2014

Effects of Hunger

"For the bread of God is He who comes down from 
heaven and gives life to the world."
John 6:33

Last summer I was babysitting a sweet 3 year old boy and his precious little sister. Most of the time this little boy was pretty easy and enjoyed playing and talking to me. He was so curious and often asked questions about how things worked or why things were a certain way. One day, however, he did not care for my answer to one of his questions. So he asked it again, “Is August in the summer?” The first time I quickly answered yes, but that second time I paused and did the math – four seasons, 12 months, 3 months to a season, September-November is Fall, etc. After gaining confidence in my answer I told him yes again. He was not having it. Much to my disbelief this calm, easy going little boy ran over to the couch and started crying, no bawling, face down and feet up.

As I sat their paralyzed I remembered a statement his mom had made about discerning when he was being blatantly disobedient and when he was acting out of hunger, tiredness, or something along those lines. So I regained my composure, praying there was something besides me that was causing this reaction and said gently, “Is everything ok? Is something wrong? Can I help you?” Little did I know how significant his response would be nearly a year later. He stopped crying, caught his breath, looked up at me, and said “I’m just really hungry, Jackie.” Oh sweet boy.

We can all think back to a time when our growling stomachs caused us to act out of the norm, right? In my case I tend to get a tad bit grouchy and impatient, though if Brandon were writing this he may leave out “tad bit.” (But he’s not and I am, so we’ll all agree on “a tad bit grouchy.") When Brandon gets hungry he starts asking questions. Instead of saying “I need food, like now,” which is what I tend, to do he asks me, “How hungry are you?” And, unlike me, Brandon is not that picky when it comes to food so he is liable to eat the first thing he can get his hands on – which one time happened to be cookie dough that was a couple of  months old. GAG!

Now, if we can get past the cookie dough we can get to where I am going with this. Yesterday morning was rough. Really rough. More specifically yesterday morning I was rough. As much as I would like to blame an outside source, and look for them I did, there is only one person to blame for my behavior – ME. Oh, I tried to blame Brandon because we over slept; He tried waking me up for 30-45 minutes. I was upset with the restaurant Brandon picked for breakfast; I said he could pick when he asked where I wanted to go. Our waitress did not smile enough to meet my expectations; I know nothing about her life. My cinnamon roll did not taste like Briar Rose’s; I guess I can’t hold everyone to their standard. Then, to sum it all up, I basically let all of this out on Brandon by being rude to most everything he said.

I wish I could tell you that sometime during the morning I got my act together – after all I have spent the last 2 weeks trying to memorize Psalm 13:5 which says, “But I will trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” Why couldn’t my dysfunctional heart just rejoice?!? It was not until that afternoon when Brandon had gone to the field that I sat down and just thought, “Why? Why God? What is wrong with me?!” And you know what God said? He lovingly and gently whispered, “You’re just hungry. Hungry for me.” Hmmm. Well now that you mention it, Lord, I do think that could be a key factor here.

I had been doing an awful job of spending time with the Lord the past couple of weeks, and like when we are physically hungry for food, spiritual hunger will show itself in some very unattractive, unglorifying ways. I had become grouchy, whiney, rude, unpleasant, needy, etc. much like when I am needing real food. Also, I had stopped evaluating myself and started looking at other things as being the issue. Surely it wasn’t poor little me that was the problem! HA! Worst of all, I had started feeding my spiritual hunger with anything I could get my dirty, grubby hands on. I pushed Brandon into a place that he doesn’t deserve to be by expecting him to make me feel content and whole. Then, because Brandon wasn’t fulfilling this need, (only Jesus can truly satisfy us and bring contentness) I started the viscous comparing game that I too readily become a participant in.

All of this because I was just hungry. I don’t say “just” because the hunger justifies my actions –by no means is that true. I say “just” because my hunger can be easily filled. All I have to do is spend time with Jesus and let him fulfill me.

The passage I hope you read is too long to type here, so get out your bible, smart phone, or ipad and read John 6:25-58. Reflect on it. If you still feel hungry after that, keep reading and keep praying. The Lord will NOT disappoint. It would be against His very nature. 

Jackie Moore