We went broke a few years ago. From the outside looking in, it likely appeared disastrous. As I reflect, I wouldn’t trade for that experience. I kind of want to wish that it went a different way, but I can’t bring myself to want differently than the experience. The experience brought me to a place of hunger. It took me beyond the satisfaction of comfortable circumstances to reach depths of internal satisfaction that had nothing to do with external stimuli.
Psalm 107 indicates the condition of hunger as one that prompts the Lord’s response. The frustration of the soul that occurs when the flesh is pressed facilitates a spiritual move that relieves spirit, soul and body. God will fix us when the stuff around us is broken enough that we are broken, too. When we have no choice but to call out to Him, the response is certain and abundant as the broken vessel is a Kingdom container.
God doesn’t just allow or prompt difficulty for the sake of our souls, however. God will just as certainly provide for our prosperity when our souls are conditioned to steward it. In Psalms 107: 35-38, He promises, “But he also turns deserts into pools of water,the dry land into springs of water. He brings the hungry to settle there and to build their cities. They sow their fields, plant their vineyards, and harvest their bumper crops. How he blesses them! They raise large families there, and their herds of livestock increase.”
What I realized as I read this Psalm was that hunger doesn’t have to be prompted by lack. Hunger is a condition that we can foster even in the supply of our needs. It’s a choice of pursuit and a rejection of contentment. This choice isn’t an easy one in a culture of comfort. Perhaps the discipline of fasting is connected to this very idea? Intentionally limiting satisfaction to foster hunger which makes a way for a deeper yearning that results in eternal appetites.
Recently, I’ve been content by comparison to the difficulty we faced following the business failure. I’ve settled into a comfortable groove of Christian-ish. I haven’t been fasting and I haven’t been hungry. I want to dwell in the land God provides and build the city He intends. As such, I’m asking for a hunger that isn’t dependent on conditions but is born of relationship and craving for more of Him.
I’m crying out . . . “Lord, help!”