Hunger Pains

This morning my four and a half year old tells me for the hundredth time, “I’m hungry”.

Chelle Nicole Photography

And I respond for the hundredth time, “Oren, you just ate breakfast, a big one. You had eggs, toast, sausage, and apple juice. You can finish the rest of your juice and eggs if your still hungry I put them in the fridge”.

His response is ALWAYS the same, no matter what, “But, mom, I’m not hungry for those things. I’m hungry for something else. Can I just have a different snack?”

As a mom this scenario is ALWAYS frustrating. How is it that my four year believes himself hungry, but I just fed him and he can’t distinguish the difference between real hunger and boredom or the desire for something that will taste good on his tongue for a few moments.

I wonder if my soul and my life reflect the same conversation with God, “Abba (dear father in Aramaic), I’m hungry.”

And he responds for the hundreth time, “Ashley, you have breakfast, it’s on the bookshelf. Quiet your soul and get fed.”

Then I, like my son, start the whiny voice, “But, Abba, I’m not hungry for those things. I’m hungry for something else. Can I just have something else?”

While, I might not really have this conversation with God in words, I’m certain that at moments and times in my life we’ve had this conversation and I’ve proven that I am a whiny little child in and through my actions.

I’ve sought after wealth. It didn’t make me full.

I’ve sought after family. It didn’t make me full.

I’ve sought after perfection. It didn’t make me full (or perfect).

I’ve sought after a happy marriage. It didn’t make me full or happy because it didn’t fill.

I’ve sought after a great many things, too many to list. And, it didn’t make me full.

And, although those things all can be good and great,what I’m finding is that God is always right. When I pull out the Bible from the bookshelf and I begin to eat my fill, I am satisfied. I’m full. I’m content.

Paul also learned that. In Philippians 4:10-14 he says, “I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. “

Then you know what happens? When I am full of the right things, I feel wealthy even when I’m the poorest I’ve been since we first married. I feel blessed beyond measure by a family that is amazing. I’m still not perfect, but I’m free to be okay with my imperfections. And, I have a happy marriage because being happy isn’t my first priority anymore.

Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.” (John 4:13-14)

What are you filling up on lately?

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