How many times a day do I find myself asking my kids this very question? Their little bodies sometimes crave one thing while their minds seek out something else. Their body whispers “green beans” while their mind shouts “chocolate chip cookies”!
One of my prayers every morning before I start my day is that God will help me seek Him out in every “anxious moment” and in every “hungry heart moment” (so that He will have those instead of the chocolate chip cookies having me).
You’ve heard there is a void in our souls that can only be filled by God. You also hear repeatedly that only God can fill that hunger in your heart.
However, until this weekend, I never stopped to ask myself what my heart was actually hungering for.
We sometimes agonize over snack time or mealtime about exactly what will satisfy that craving. Do I feel like a good salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing? Or do I feel like I grilled burger with all the fixins?
We spend lots of time and energy thinking about what we want to eat, where to get it, or how to prepare it.
As I began this journey of laying down sugar and excess food, I made it my goal to let God fill me when I was hungry of heart.
I never thought to get specific about what I was hungry for.
The weekends are especially challenging for me. It is a time where I am not only taking care of kids (in partnership with my husband), but also trying to get caught up on housework.
I am very eager to do right by my kids. Ok, let’s get real. What I really want is not to screw my kids up. Can I get an amen from parents out there?
As I was pondering this desire to treat my kids the right way this weekend, I realized that my heart was indeed very hungry. I felt my soul weaken. I needed God to come fill my hungry soul.
A verse then came to my mind:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled. Matt: 5-6 NKJV
I was able to connect the dots at that moment.
I have been hungering for righteousness my whole life. Even as a Christian.
I realized that one of the reasons that I have been running around empty trying to fill the void has been my desire for righteousness.
Jesus could have stopped at the word “hunger”. We know what hunger represents. We could skip a meal if we had to. We could go a few days without food if we had to.
He goes beyond hunger and adds the word “thirst”. To be thirsty is a deeper level of desperation.
I want to be clear that when I say that I want to be righteous, it doesn’t mean that I want to be “holier than thou”, and “self-righteous” in the negative connotation that is often associated with those terms.
For me to want to be righteous means that I want to do right! I want to do right by my God. I want to do right by my spouse. I want to do right by my kids.
Because what I do has an impact on everyone around me. If I choose to give in to selfish desires and wants (which is the essence of sin), then I will end up hurting someone around me.
I have felt especially weary this weekend. I felt weary of this very intense, non-stop journey called parenting of young children.
I get tempted to complain sometimes. Lord, I’m tired of being woken up at 6am every day. I’m tired of cleaning dried Spaghettios off the dishes. I’m tired of washing bibs off all the time. I’m tired of endless conversations beginning with the phrase “Why?”
However, in my desire to do right by my kids, another verse came to my mind this weekend:
And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap
if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 NKJV
This verse came to my mind, and when I went to look it up, I couldn’t help but notice the verse before it:
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption,
but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Gal. 6:8
This verse reminded me again of the consequences of choosing to do what I want. It reminded me again of how much I must be filled with righteousness in order to do right.
In order to get that righteousness, we must first hunger and thirst for it. We must be desperate for it.
The word of God shows us that when we hunger and thirst for righteousness and persevere with doing the right things which He has enabled us to do, we will:
Reap in due season
Reap everlasting life.