Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6, NIV)
As I was thinking about writing this blog, the subject of hunger brought back a memory I would like to share. It was that moment in time when I finally understood the hunger of people around the world.
I was listening to the radio on the way to work one morning. It was during a week when there was a campaign to introduce listeners to sponsorship programs for children around the world who live in impoverished communities. Because my heart aches so at the conditions these families live in, we had already sponsored some during the past few years. I was not planning on sponsoring anymore, but then I heard a field team member describe the time she saw a woman making what looked like cookies out of mud. The mother would form them and then let them bake in the sun. When they were ready, she would feed them to her child. The field team member approached her and asked why she was feeding her child mud cookies. The mother’s answer was, “I know that my child is starving because I have nothing to feed her. She is going to die. At least with these mud cookies, I can keep her from some of the pain she would feel.”
Bam! That hit me so hard. As a mother of three, I cannot imagine living in such poverty that I would have to watch my children slowly die of starvation. To make cookies of mud, just to ease the pain, would be a job filled with love and great emotional pain.
I’m sure you know by now that I ended up sponsoring another child. God has provided the extra dollars needed each month, and we have been blessed to correspond with a child and his grandmother (who is raising him). As is so typical of God, when he blesses one person, He often blesses another.
All this being said, Jesus is not talking about physical hunger when he says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” Although he is not speaking of physical hunger, but rather spiritual hunger, much of the story I just shared plays out in the souls of people today. People are starving, and are eating mud cookies to try to relieve the pain while their souls slowly die.
There is a hunger in all of us for something we just can’t put our hands on. We cannot think enough, touch enough, smell enough, see enough, taste enough, or hear enough to find it, unless we are willing to consider that God might be what we are starving for.
If we can open up the door of our lives just enough to consider that God might be real, and begin to search for Him, then we have a chance of finding the food and drink that will satisfy our souls and bring as an amazingly full life.
Are you willing to allow God to feed you or are you going to keep eating the mud cookies that the world feeds you to keep you somewhat pain-free until you die? In case you are wondering what mud cookies you might be eating, let me suggest it could be some that I ate for part of my life: packing my life full of activities and responsibilities so there was no time to really contemplate my loneliness and emptiness, addiction, wrapping my life up in my children and their sports, plays, concerts, groups, and activities while setting my life on hold, watching hours of TV (IPADs and tablets were not available then), striving for success as a business owner, and most of all searching for the all elusive feeling of being loved and wanted. Those were my mud cookies, but when I hit rock bottom, and saw death as my only escape, the God I had ignored all those years, whispered to me as I was planning my suicide, “What will happen to your small boys?”
I am lucky that God could pierce the darkness I had been living in, a darkness created by a soul craving for something and not knowing what it was, and so eating every mud cookie she could find to survive the pain. He took this starving soul and fed me with the love and His word. He filled the emptiness with the Holy Spirit and new Christian friends. He totally transformed my life.
I hope you do not have to starve to the point of death before you will open the door of your life to God. I hope you will understand that when Jesus said, if you hunger and thirst for righteousness (living a God directed life) you will be filled.
Today I am filled with and abundance of joy, peace, and love.
My prayer is that you will be too.
God bless you my friend.