Hunger is a Gift


Hunger is usually something we try to avoid.  When we’re hungry, we want to make it go away by eating our fill.  Hunger in the world is so extreme.  It is a mark of poverty.  How we work to avoid hunger.

“God blesses those who are poor
and realize their need for him,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
Matthew 5:3


Last year, my father-in-law had a few months where he just wasn’t hungry.  He slowly lost weight and we were all quite worried.  How do you force someone to eat who just doesn’t want to?  If only we could get him to be hungry, he would reach for the food that would make him whole.  Thankfully, with the grace of God, he began to eat again and is at a better weight.

That’s when I realized that hunger is a gift.  Without it, we won’t reach for the nourishment we need.  Spiritual hunger is also a gift.  When we realize our need for Jesus, we will reach out to know him more.

One of the “desert fathers” (I think it was Julian of Norwich) was praying, asking God to help her pray for 5 hours every day.  She felt the Lord tell her to look at the little birds.  God doesn’t tell them to eat.  They eat when they are hungry.  When you are hungry for God, then you will pray.

 I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
 You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
Psalm 63:4-5

Lord, thank you for the gift of hunger. May I feast at the table of Your presence. Amen.