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a different look at hunger

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Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” Matt5:6

     We know the first 12 verses of the book of Matthew as “The Beatitudes”. Taken as a whole these are astounding and  life-changing words. Even when you take it apart verse by verse, the words take aim at our weak spots and we have to stop cold in our tracks. Sometimes the words are thrown at you when you are not ready and you have to hold on and catch your breath. That’s what happened to me with verse six.

Blessed – meaning being characterized as having the qualities of God, having God’s nature inside you , having the kingdom of God within.

Righteousness – simply put, being in a right relationship with God.

       I wrestled with this a bit. Am I “blessed”? Well, yes. I do have the qualities of compassion and mercy and love within me. I think that a better question is whether or not these qualities are evident in my life. Then the answer would be… not really. And that is quite a splash of cold water in my face, but this verse isn’t through with me yet. Next question – Am I a righteous person? At the risk of sounding too familiar with the person of God – Am I in a good place with God these days? Yes, and then no. I’m struggling with these questions. Tough questions, good questions that we should wrestle with from time to time. But here’s the one that really got to me:

Do I hunger and thirst for God?

So simple, (and yet complex) but there it is. Am I hungry for God or am I too comfortable in a Christianity that doesn’t challenge me?

      The term “those who hunger” is more properly translated from the Greek as “the hungering ones”. It indicates a constant state of hunger for God’s righteousness. Even when we eat 3 square meals daily, we will still find ourselves waking up hungry the next morning. That is because we’ve used up the energy in the calories that we took in the previous day so we must take in more each day to meet that day’s demands. I ask myself, “Do I wake up hungry for God?”. Did I use up all the energy he gave me yesterday? Did I expend those calories on those around me doing His work so that by the next day I am empty again and ready for God’s constant replenishing? That’s what has been bothering me. I think I have lost some of that hunger that I once had.  

Last but not least, we read that final line “they shall be satisfied”. We think that it means God will fill us eternally and that is only partially true. As He pours into us, we must spill over onto those around us daily. Satisfied, but only on a day by day basis, like daily bread. 

Oh Lord, forgive me for forgetting my place in You. Forgive me for trying to run ahead of my need for You. Thank You for awakening a hunger in me . May I know that hunger daily and satisfaction only temporarily until that day that I can be with you eternally. Amen.

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