Hungry for God

[Editor’s note: the passage for this week is Acts 4:23-34, and Deb, Heidi, Elizabeth and Dave will be offering their usual insightful and helpful meditations on it throughout this week. Today’s Connect Devotional hopes to serve as an entry door into this new series.]

It’s a familiar experience: there I stand, looking into fridge or pantry, hungry for … something.    Or I’m running errands, skipped lunch, and now have a hankerin’ for … something.  Starbucks, Subway, Mickey-Dee’s, Chipotle …?

Can this kind of experience tell me something about me and God?

Our new series, Hungry for God, begins this week.  This series will usher us into a season which will culminate on Easter (March 31).  In many Christian traditions, this season is called Lent (“spring”), and is seen as a time for attentiveness, reflection, repentance, and personal and church-wide renewal.  

A time to ask the Lord to sharpen and deepen our hunger … for God.  

We hunger in many ways, for all kinds of things.  Some hungers may be for relatively superficial things like comfort, convenience and “stuff.” Other hungers come from deeper places: we hunger for acceptance and affirmation; for dignity and respect; for meaningful work and meaningful relationships; for forgiveness and release from guilt and shame.  Once you start listing, we’re hungry for a lot!

What if God is actually at work, in and through all our different kinds of hunger.  What if all of them are, somehow, some way, pointing us toward God?  What if Jesus is standing beside me at my open fridge, asking “Is that what you’re really hungry for?”

My first answer may very well be “Yup, absolutely, outta my way!”  But Jesus has this way of asking, and asking, and then asking again: “Is that what you’re really hungry for?”  And as he keeps asking, I find that my answers start changing.

It is possible for Christians to fall into “fast-food” or “snacking” mode with God.  From time to time, we experience some sense of spiritual emptiness or need, so we look for a “spiritual” fast-food joint or snack dispenser.  Maybe we pray a little, open the Bible a little, maybe go to church a little.  All good things!  But are we just snacking, just doing a quick fast-food drive-by?

What if God invites us to a feast instead of a snack dispenser or narrow and limited fast-food menu?  What if God is something like an infinite combined fridge and pantry and restaurant and dinner party, a never-ending banquet, where each and every offering is the best we’ve ever tasted, and the next is even better than what we just enjoyed?  Where many of the dishes are unfamiliar, to say the least – and once we get past that initial I-know-I-won’t-like-this reaction, we find each one a new favorite?

What if God-hunger means both finding ourselves fully satisfied by God and, at the same time, ever hungry for more?

Watch out: we may find ourselves sampling some cuisine we never knew existed!

And enjoying it more than we ever thought possible.

Two practical hungry-for-God opportunities are coming right up.  Next Wednesday, February 14, both campuses will offer self-guided stations of prayer and reflection to help us cultivate a hunger for God throughout this Lenten season.  Drop in anytime between 5:30 and 7:30 PM.  

And all men are invited to our next half-day retreat on Saturday, February 24, 8AM – 1 PM at NCH.  RSVP to

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