Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hunger Pains.

At church today, our pastor told us about asking his four year-old son, "Why do you think God fed the 5,000 people with the loaves and fishes?" His son answered, "Because they were hungry."

I think it is one of the most beautiful responses to the story I have ever heard. Sometimes, we delve so deep into things, trying to come up with every complicated and intellectual interpretation possible, that we miss the simple, glorious truth. The people were hungry. So God fed them.

God loves it when His kids approach Him with hungry hearts. Especially when we come expecting to be filled. To come expecting used to sound prideful to me. What right do we have to expect anything from God? Until I discovered that God told us to. He calls it faith.
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" (Matthew 7:7-11)
That is a radical promise! Jesus is not going to withhold those loaves and fishes from us, even if it takes the impossible to fulfill our need. He's just waiting for us to take Him at His word and start pressing in, seeking, asking, knocking. Insistently, to the point of being obnoxious even, as was illustrated with the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1-8).
"And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:7-8). 
Imagine what incredible things would be accomplished for the glory of God if we actually believed all the things we say we do! It's easy to say we believe that the Bible is true, but if you look at it closely, it makes some pretty ridiculous claims. And we stuff those away in some abstract, theological concept instead of living it out as a part of our daily reality. Why are we so afraid of miracles? Why are we so shy of the impossible?

Because most of us are starving. Our faith isn't anywhere near the size of a mustard seed. We'd be lucky if we could see it under a microscope. We're wasting away in our apathy, and the saddest part is, we hardly even notice.

But if you stop for a moment, if you pay a little bit of attention to the whispers of your Spirit, I'll bet you can still feel that hunger pain. And when we realize we're hungry, we're in pretty good shape. Because as children of God, we know there is only One who satisfies, who has promised to always satisfy, every time. So come to the Father. Ask Him for bread.


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