Psalm 63:1 (NIV): O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Is it any wonder that God called David a man after His own heart? Even when David was in the wilderness of Judah, a dry, barren place where good water was hard to find, even when his mouth was dry and his stomach empty, his greatest desire was for God! David understood that a person could eat a whole feast, gorge himself on rich food until he was ready to burst, but all of that food won’t do a thing to fulfill the hunger that the soul has for God. He understood that a person could drink gallons of water, or even of fine wine, but the hunger that God has placed in his heart for His presence will still remain unsatisfied.
Today many people deny the hunger and thirst for God that He Himself built into our hearts – the “God-shaped vacuum” that can only be satisfied when it is filled with His presence. Instead of giving in to that craving for God, we fill our lives with stuff – material possessions, wealth, position, status. But we find that we still crave more. That kind of stuff can never truly satisfy the hunger of the heart. So we amass more and more stuff. But no matter how full we fill our lives with stuff, we always seem to want, to need, just a little more, because the hunger is still there.
Some of us just try to stay busy, trying to find fulfillment in our activities and our accomplishments. We work long hours, we volunteer for stuff, we get involved with good causes, sometimes even with church stuff. But no matter how much we do, no matter how important the work, the unsatisfied hunger in our souls keep pushing us further and faster.
Some of us try to dull the hunger in our hearts through drugs, alcohol, and sexuality. We take things that kill our senses, or drugs that give us a sense of peace and well-being. But when the drug wears off, we still feel the same subtle hunger, the same underlying sense of dissatisfaction with life. We try to find satisfaction in sexual interaction and pornographic images. But even that satisfaction seems to rise up in ever deeper unsatisfied desire.
What far too many people fail to recognize is that we are NOT merely advanced animals; we are NOT reorganized pond scum; we are NOT an accident of nature that came from nowhere and are headed nowhere when we die. Every human being represents the highest pinnacle of God’s creation. We are all made in the image and likeness of God Himself, with an eternal spirit that will live forever in one of two states – either in God’s presence or separated from Him. The deepest hunger of our heart can only be satisfied in a relationship with God – a relationship that He has made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, His one and only Son. No earthly thing, no other person, no substance, no sexual interaction can every satisfy spiritual hunger or slake spiritual thirst. It is only when we come to God, surrender to His Lordship, receive His salvation, and begin to consciously live in His presence that we will finally find true satisfaction and true rest for our souls.
Father, this truly is the core of the gospel for our time. We seek but we don’t find, because we don’t seek You. We eat and are still vaguely hungry all the time, because we are not feeding the deepest part of us, the part that craves You. We drink, but find that our beverages don’t really touch the most thirsty part of us. It is only in You, in relationship with You, that we find true satisfaction in every dimension of our lives. Help me today, Lord, to share this good news with some hungry and thirsty souls. Amen.