Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed multiple moments where I felt rather dissatisfied and discontent. The interesting and troubling thing about these feelings is that they weren’t during frustrating, trying, or even mundane moments.
Instead, these feelings have come at moments where I expected to find contentment, deep happiness, and feelings of fulfillment. They’ve come at moments where I was in beautiful and peaceful places and in times where I should have felt deep connection with others. I couldn’t muster up those positive feelings and ended up wondering what was wrong with me. I was annoyed with myself for not feeling thankful or fulfilled. In one of those moments, an old song came to mind: “When Nothing Satisfies.”
Those moments and feelings came to mind this past Sunday as I was singing in worship. God started talking to me about this frustration I was feeling. He reminded me about a prayer request that I felt he wasn’t answering.
I have been praying and begging God to give me a deep hunger for more of Him. “Make me so hungry for You that I just can’t get enough time with You!” I’ve been praying that prayer for a while now.
And after reminding me of that prayer, He said something like, “I have been answering your prayer. I have given you a deep hunger, but you’ve been trying to satisfy that hunger for Me with other things. But those other things will never fill the hunger I’ve put in you for Me. You will always feel discontent and even the greatest blessings from Me will feel bland if you don’t first satisfy your hunger for Me first. Hunger always feels uncomfortable. Embrace that feeling of discomfort because it is an answer to your prayer. Then satisfy yourself in Me.”
I don’t know why I expected hunger for God to look like something else. I guess, maybe, I expected it to look like that infatuation you feel when you first start falling in love, where you just can’t get enough of the person. I think I’ll start praying for that!
I should mention that I probably don’t have a healthy relationship with hunger in general. I rarely realize I’m physically hungry until someone says a food-related word, and then I feel the hunger hit me full-force. Frankly, I dislike dealing with anything related to food until I cannot bear the hunger any more. Luckily, I have a wonderful husband who makes sure I eat.
So I suppose it is no surprise that I haven’t dealt with my spiritual hunger in a healthy way or even recognized the feeling of spiritual hunger when it hits me. But after the Lord spoke to me about it, I felt like the pieces finally fell into place for me. I could see the hunger that I was ignoring and trying to satisfy with other things. Even though those things were God-given blessings and moments, they fell flat in the face of this deeper hunger for God.
But just like I have a hard time wanting to prepare actual food for myself, even in moments of great hunger, even if I have all the ingredients laid out before me, in the same way, I still have trouble taking time to satisfy my hunger for the Lord. I want it to be easy, like a buffet laid out before me. And sometimes it is like that. But many times, we have to put in more effort to satisfy our hunger for the Lord.
For some people who love to cook, this metaphor may fall flat, but for me, it is a powerful reminder that I have a role to play and effort to put in. The degree to which I satisfy my hunger for God is up to me. He’s not going to force feed me.
What about you? Is there an area of your life you have been feeling dissatisfied? How hungry are you for the Lord? How are you doing satisfying that hunger for the Lord?