Hunger Must Resist Apathy

As we enter the season of Advent, it is appropriate for us to examine our appetites. What are we hungry for? What are we waiting for? What is an empty place in us that we desire be filled?

Scripture is full of examples of those who experienced deep hunger. Hannah longed so deeply for a child that she poured out her heart to the LORD (see 1 Sam. 1:1-16). The sons of Korah expressed a desperate desire for the manifest presence of God (see Psalm 42). Simeon and Anna persisted in waiting for the promised Messiah (see Luke 2:22-38). I encourage you to take note of these three passages and take time this Advent season to reflect upon each. Ask yourself anew, “What am I hungry for in this season of my life?”

Hunger is uncomfortable. Waiting is difficult. It is much easier to distract ourselves with busyness, satisfy ourselves with lesser things, or give in to apathy to dull the pain of unmet desires. But we deceive ourselves. Listen to God’s message to the church of Laodicea. “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked . . . Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” (Rev. 3:17, 20). They had no hunger for God because they were satisfied with material wealth.

The same invitation is extended to us. “Here I am!” Jesus wants to fill the lives of those who are hungry for His presence. A similar invitation is extended in the parable of the great banquet found in Luke 14:15-24. Those who were invited declined with disrespectful excuses. They chose to be satisfied with lesser things. Their lack of hunger disqualified them from the feast and the fellowship. In response, my heart is stirred, and I pray: “May this never be true of me! Lord, increase my hunger for your provision and presence.”

So, again, I ask: What are you hungry for? This Advent season, what are you waiting for? Identify your deepest desires and speak them to the Father. Perhaps you desire a fresh filling of the Holy Spirit for yourself or your church. Perhaps you are waiting for a prodigal to return. Perhaps you are waiting for the salvation of a loved one. Perhaps you need emotional, relational, spiritual, or physical healing. Pour out your heart in prayer. Wait before the Lord. Deepen your experience through fasting.

Let us enter this season of waiting with a fresh hunger for the deeper things of God. May we resist the temptations to distract, to numb, to overindulge, to give up hope. And the God who is perfect in love and completely trustworthy will, at just the right time, say, “Here I am!”