I don’t know anything about real hunger. While billions suffer in starvation and poverty, I live behind the plush curtain. Yet hunger is woven into the fabric of our humanness—no matter where we live. Appetite is a primitive desire that doesn’t discriminate; every human has felt its pangs. Without an appetite, we slip into starvation and even death. Hunger is the gnawing reminder that in order to have strength, we must have sustenance.
As I’ve thought and prayed during this time, I’ve wondered if the ache I feel inside parallels what it means to have a divine appetite for God. If physical hunger is a set of feelings that leads a person to search for food, then spiritual hunger is a set of experiences and longings that compels a person to search for God. Just as my body needs food to survive, my spirit needs God to thrive. A divine appetite drives me to pursue a vibrant relationship with God—one in which I find my sustenance and strength.
Our spiritual appetites can be quelled only by God. But is it possible to dine on an intangible being? How do we feast upon something we cannot see, touch, or taste? Over the last several years, I’ve learned that God’s voice is the only entrée that can nourish our ethereal cravings. Hearing and experiencing, rather than eating, assuages spiritual hunger.
My spiritual hunger grumbles loudest when I feel furthest from God. Though I cling to the assertion that God is everywhere and promises to never leave or forsake us, I’ve spent days, weeks, even months wondering, Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret.
I long for a single word to appease my spiritual belly. When the silence finally breaks, the sound of God’s voice is a banquet for my soul—every syllable a tasty morsel, every expression flavored with love.
Longing to know him.
Longing to experience him.
Longing to hear him.
Is that what it means to hunger for God?
From Hungry for God by Margaret Feinberg
Margaret Feinberg (margaretfeinberg.com) is a popular speaker at churches and events. Named one of the thirty emerging voices of Christian leaders under age forty by Charisma magazine, Margaret is author of multiple books, including Organic God, The Sacred Echo, Scouting the Divine and a number of titles in the popular Women of Faith Study Guide Series. She lives in Colorado with her husband, Leif, and superpup, Hershey.
“In Hungry for God, Margaret Feinberg whets our appetites for the full feast God has prepared for us. Pull up a chair, pick up a fork, and dive in!” —Elisa Morgan