Think for a moment what it means to hunger for something. As Americans we have everything readily available to us; if we are hungry, we go to the fast-food joint on the corner and get a whole meal for $4. We don’t have to worry about where the next meal will come from or how to find food for our family. Not everyone has this luxury. Places like Guatemala, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Haiti all have in common a dangerously high poverty rate. Citizens in these nations go days, even weeks at a time, with little to no food; searching through trash and rubble for the smallest crumb to satisfy the twisting hunger in their stomach.
Thirsting. Our homes have access to city water, or we have a well outside pumping thirst-quenching water into our faucets. If we are thirsty, we grab a glass and fill it with the liquid that makes up 70% of our bodies. Again, the availability of conveniences to which we have access causes us to miss the appreciation of natural necessities. The example seen in poverty stricken nations should grab our attention.
Just as food and water are necessary commodities for our bodies, so our souls hunger and thirst for the gospel. We all have felt this craving, and Jesus is the only One who can satisfy.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:6). It’s not surprising that this hunger and thirst remind us of being “poor in spirit.” When we position ourselves to be poor in spirit, an aching develops in the deep recesses of who we are. We realize it’s not a normal type of poverty because nothing earthly satisfies. We realize how truly hungry and thirsty we are for what is real; for a water that will cause us never to thirst again. Contrary to hungering for earthly food or possessions, where we get delirious and faint until we get what we need or want, this hunger brings focus and clarity to seek what truly satisfies. We are completely dependent, yet completely free; empty yet filled, and thus, the beautiful paradox of the gospel. We can only be satisfied when we stay hungry.
Red Hills Church