Because we’re starving and we don’t even know it

When I get really hungry, one of two things happens. I either get super weak and feel like I’m going to faint or I get super irritable and unkind. Both options are pretty unfortunate and high maintenance. I try to do things like carry Kind Bars in my purse (the irony of the name is not lost on me) and eat snacks on a regular basis.
But I do get that hungry on occasion, and when I do, it can get ugly. It’s not just hunger, by the way. Blood sugar is a real thing and when it gets too low, it’s not like I can just act nicer or pull it together. My body is working really hard to stay conscious, and I don’t have the energy it takes to worry about your feelings. Okay? {Insert very cute, “please forgive me” smile.}

The only thing helpful about that kind of hunger is that it makes itself known. And I’ve [finally] learned that eating an apple will usually bring the threat level right back down to normal.

Other times, I’m just hungry enough to feel a little off but not hungry enough to identify it as hunger. I’m tired and maybe a little irritable, but it’s not severe, and I don’t feel hungry. And nothing sounds good. Not even eating.

Sometimes when I feel that way, I end up at dinner. For whatever reason, I finally wander into a restaurant, and it smells like fried chicken. And all of a sudden I’m famished, and I want to eat everything. Now!

I don’t know if this happens to everyone. But it happens to me.

It happens to me spiritually too. It happened this week. I’ve been a little lethargic, if I’m going to be perfectly honest. I know that all of this stuff about God is true, and I know that Jesus loves me, and I love Him, and it isn’t fake. But sometimes it doesn’t feel particularly true. He doesn’t feel particularly near. I don’t feel particularly loved. I don’t feel particularly loving.

And faith isn’t about feeling. Yes, I know. Thank God. Faith doesn’t look to feelings for verification. But feelings aren’t bad.

Last weekend, we watched Beth Moore’s simulcast, and as she spoke, I was reminded that it’s okay to ask Him to make Himself to known. It’s okay to tell Him that I want to experience how much He loves me. It’s okay to tell Him that I want to feel love toward Him again.

It doesn’t nullify faith to ask for those things. It requires faith. And then it inspires faith.

Jesus isn’t threatened when we whisper, I want to know You more.

He’s thrilled.

Then she talked about how desperately we need the Word of God, and something in my heart began to stir almost immediately. It was uncomfortable and only vaguely familiar. I opened my Bible that afternoon when I was alone. But the Book that I once couldn’t get enough of felt awkward and dry, and I didn’t know what to do with it, so I literally just sat there and held it.

Because we're starving and we don't even know it | by Cody Andras |

And I asked Him to make me fall in love with Him again. I’ve known Him that way before, so I know it’s possible.

There was a time when He was not just Someone I knew was real, but when He was the realest One to me.

And Beth Moore reminded me of that on Saturday. And then on Tuesday a friend asked me if I wanted to read through Ephesians. You see, I’m not the only one who’s been feeling this kind of vague discomfort. We wandered into that restaurant, and we realized we were starving. And we were nearly giddy with the idea of sitting down to eat.

And then I opened up my Bible again—the one that I’d been holding so awkwardly, and I started flipping to verses that I remembered:

“How sweet are Your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103

“Your word I have treasured in my heart,
That I may not sin against You.” Psalm 119:11

“Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.” Hebrews 12:12-13

“Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.” Revelation 3:2-3

Because we're starving and we don't even know it | by Cody Andras |

Remember. Repent. Turn back toward Him. Strengthen. Do those things you did at first (Revelation 2:5).

For me, that is opening His Word. It’s gathering with a small group of women. It’s whispering prayers out loud, head on my pillow. It’s falling asleep in the middle of those prayers, in the middle of His Presence. It’s writing not only about Him but to Him as well, with a pen, in a journal that only He will read.

Doing those things makes me want more. Of Him. Of His Word. Of whatever He will give me.

It’s a little bit uncomfortable to wake up from the half-slumber. It awakens a want that I can’t satisfy on my own. I have to hope that He will satisfy. There’s a song by Chris Rice called Thirsty and in it, he says, “Could I really be this thirsty if there weren’t something more?” Surely not.

We try so many other things to satisfy this uncomfortable craving for Christ Himself. We get disappointed or disillusioned or just a little bit discouraged. So we get busy and distracted and try to forget that hope can sometimes hurt. We ignore the thirst that we cannot quench. We deny the hunger that we cannot satisfy. Until it’s just a dull ache, a vague discomfort, and we can’t even remember when it started.

Sometimes it takes the offer of food to recognize your hunger.

And it takes that hunger to remind us of our need, of our dependence, of our desperate desire.

Of our love for a Lord whose presence we long for.

Of the love of a Savior who came that we might enter into that presence.

We’re starving. And we hardly even know it.

And this gracious God prepares a feast and bids us come.

Just come. To realize our hunger. To find the One we crave.

Do you know Him? Do you know how He loves you? Do you know that you need not do one single thing to earn it? Do you know that that’s because He’s already done all that was required? Do you know how that one Name, Jesus, feels when it’s on your lips? Do you know how His heart quickens to respond when you cry out to Him? Do you know you have a place at His table? That by believing you can have life in His Name (John 20:31)?

Was Jesus once the One who was most real to you? Was He once your heart’s desire? Do you still stand in steady faith but long for the way you used to know Him? Wander into a restaurant, dear friend. Do those things you did at first. Whatever they were. Ask Him to draw you to Himself again. Ask Him to wake you up to your first Love.

I didn’t know that He would answer. I only hoped that He might. And then He did. And He will for you too. He longs to.

Because we're starving and we don't even know it | by Cody Andras |

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