When my husband and I brought home our 10-month-old son, John, from a Russian orphanage, we had a mission: Feed the little guy.
The diapered dude was more than happy to oblige.
“He’s an eating machine,” my husband pronounced at the first of many high-chair feeding frenzies. He raked up food and shoveled it in his mouth, then raked and shoveled, raked and shoveled, removing physical “hunger” from his vocabulary forever.
My little guy’s high-chair experience reminds me of the feeding of the 5,000 recorded in the Gospel of John. A great crowd had followed Jesus to a mountainside. They had hunger but no food. A brave boy offered his lunch: five small barley loaves and two little fish.
Not much. But more than enough.
You probably know how the story goes. Jesus held the bread and fish, gave thanks to God, and shared it among the people. After everyone had their fill, the disciples gathered. . .leftovers! If there were a Jerusalem Journal, this miracle would have been the lead story.
The next day the people looked for Jesus. They wanted more food. He offered them something better: himself. The crowd walked away, very hungry. Without God, they were empty, void, in need. They were still starving.
As someone reminded me the other day, hunger is good. It is a sign of a normal, vibrant life. The feeling of hunger leads to eating which leads to growth. When satisfied, it brings delight.
Most important, hunger signals our true significance.
My husband and my mission to “feed the little guy” was physical and spiritual. John needed more than a baby bottle, banana chunks and Cheerios. He hungered for love, for touch, for someone to believe in him, for someone to say, “You matter.”
Deep down, isn’t this our real hunger? A hunger that only Jesus can satisfy? All around us are spiritually starving people.They try to satisfy their deepest need with counterfeits: busyness, wealth, high-status jobs, sex and stuff. In Jesus, you and I have everything we need. Now.
In him, we are chosen, redeemed, forgiven, blessed. Present tense! Read it for yourself in Ephesians 1. Say it to yourself or out loud: “In Jesus I am chosen, redeemed, forgiven and blessed.”
Now feed this truth to a friend.