While leading worship at a Church connected to PurposeCity, it was requested that I sing a song that I haven’t heard in many years. It captured my attention as a worshiper/follower of Jesus because it’s message. It was a song written back in 1999 by a songwriter named Kathryn Scott. The song is called “Hungry,” and perhaps you’ve heard of it. As we were rehearsing the song, one of the backup singers comically remarked, “I didn’t get any breakfast this morning and so, if my stomach starts growling during this song, you’ll know why!” It was a simple comment that got my wheels turning.
The idea of “having an appetite” is easy to practice – just start a fast, diet, or skip a meal and it won’t take long before your stomach reminds you that you are indeed hungry! In fact, start talking about your favorite food and you’ll get hungry even if you just ate a few hours prior. However, the concept of being hungry for spiritual things, aka craving God, is often marked more of our best intentions than actual daily practice. I will be bold enough to say candidly I am no stranger to this. While I love reading a good Christian book by an insightful author, opening the Word, and worshiping, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that if I forgot to do this three times a day, I would physically know it. This is a prevalent truth and a great tragedy for so many believers too. Our bodies, perhaps from habit, know when breakfast, lunch, and dinner occur. Therefore, we don’t often skip two of the three meals a day because we actually need the food for strength. Yet, when it comes to being constantly hungry for God, for many, it becomes a small allotted time that occurs when the rest of our busy lives slow down. If only we could treat our hunger for God in the same way we treat gathering around the dinner table for the home-cooked meal before us. Yet, I reminded singing the song “Hungry” that hungering after God is just as much a physical need as our need for food.
How do we begin to hunger after God? It is a valid question worth asking and considering. The answers may even range depending on how God uniquely wired you. Some people love a good Italian meal, while others can’t get enough of the spices and authenticity of a local Mexican restaurant. Both food categories are nourishing, yet they feature completely different tastes. For believers, some may find that their appetite for God comes through nature, others through quiet prayer, and for some, through creative worship or journaling. All forms of communication with God are equally beneficial. The problem may just be that we have forgotten to spend time discovering how to reignite our hunger. Psalm 34:8 proclaims, “Taste and see that the Lord is good, blessed in the one who takes refuge in Him.” We must spend time tasting God’s goodness before we can see Him. Once we begin to taste all the different things He offers, we become blessed. This form of blessing is not a temporary emotion, but a constant refuge.
So, I propose a simple question: Are you hungry? If you are, you know the value in what I am saying. However, I fear that for many, (like my own walk with Christ) you have gone through weathering seasons. If you aren’t waking up craving God, with a need to just chat with Him throughout the day, perhaps it is time to re-evaluate your hunger level.
I leave you with this final thought, the song actually has a brilliant solution for being hungry – it reminds us that we can come to God broken and fall on our knees, submitting to Him. It is in this fragile condition that God can begin to give us a new appetite. So, how will you hunger after God?