Merriam-Webster.com defines hunger as this:
a: a craving or urgent need for food or a specific nutrient
b: an uneasy sensation occasioned by the lack of food
c: a weakened condition brought about by prolonged lack of food
a strong desire :craving<a hunger for success
It is more than a peaked interest in something.
It’s a need.
It’s a craving.
It reveals a lack or weakness and shows a strong desire
I recently read an article on a 13 month starvation study that began in Minnesota in November of 1944. This study revealed alarming data about the short term and long term effects of hunger and starvation.
Ancel Keys said “Rather than focusing simply on the nutritional requirements for re-feeding a starving person, he wanted to offer insight on how starvation (or in this case, ‘semi-starvation’) alters “the changes in motivation, then the behavioral consequences of the physical changes, and finally, the emotional, intellectual, and social changes which so profoundly influence the personality.”
I’m looking at this and mulling over how it might connect to hunger for certain things in our own lives, not just in the physical but regarding the spiritual as well.
We crave power and influence.
We need affirmation from people to feel valuable.
We’ll do almost anything to have more money and possessions than our neighbors.
I believe part of it is because we are craving after what we’ve had a taste of.
If I’ve never heard of chocolate or tasted it, it would never be something that I went to the grocery story specifically to buy.
Exponentially so in a Western society we live in a modern day culture that stirs our appetite for sex, money and power. The media is constantly feeding us messages that we aren’t skinny enough, that we’re not desirable, that we must prioritize ourselves above others and that we deserve to instantaneously receive everything we want at no cost to us.
Our appetites are whetted for the carnal.
It all sounds so promising.
If we just get that new car or that boyfriend THEN it’ll all come together and our lives will be meaningful and we’ll be okay with who we are.
If that person would just apologize, then we could let go and move on and feel better.
We hunger after validation, vindication, relationships and all the things society promises will correct the discontent in our hearts.
This is what we have been fed. This is what we’ve been programmed to hunger after. Most of us don’t know any better, and we’re all too easily satisfied.
Unless we’ve had a taste of something sweeter. Unless our appetite has been awakened and re-wired for something more satisfying.
Hunger motivates us. When we’re hungry for food, we do what it takes to satisfy that desire. It becomes a priority to us. We lay aside other things to meet that need.
What would it look like to hunger after the things of God? And how can we actually increase our amount of hunger for more of Him and His kingdom?
Like the article states, physical hunger alters things in us. It alters our motivations. It can cause us to have emotional, social and intellectual shifts that actually influence our personalities.
I belive that as we begin to get a taste of what will actually fulfill, sustain and satisfy us we will be changed. Our priorities will shift. Our social life will look different. Our emotions and our mind will be renewed as we feed upon the truth of God.
Psalm 34:8 “Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good!”