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by Rick Stephenson
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Are you hungry? I mean really hungry? Here in the US we may experience bouts of hunger but nothing that makes us cry – physically cry – out because of hunger pangs. Overall, I believe that we in the US have access to enough to eat, although I believe, we would be surprised at how rampant even physical hunger is in our society due to a few major factors.

We live in a land of abundance yet there are those that go to bed at night with nothing in their stomachs. In fact, we have been so blessed in this country that often as a nation we are called upon to provide hunger relief to other nations. How can this be, that we can attempt meeting the needs of the hungry across the globe yet miss addressing the need here at home?

I think the issue has three main factors that come to mind, such as economics, location and personal knowledge. There are some who are affected by hunger because they don’t have the economic resources to obtain what they need. Others are affected because their location is remote and access to supplies is limited. Lastly, I believe personal knowledge plays an important part because those that are affected by the first two (economics & location) may not know where to turn to address their needs. Therefore, the message needs to get out to those in need as to where they can find help and assistance in meeting their needs.

There are a variety of federal government resources such as these: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the National School Lunch Program, to name a few. Many states have their own programs as well and of course there are faith-based organizations helping out, then there are shelters, soup kitchens, churches etc… that do their best to contribute to meeting the need. Hence, I urge you if you need help to address your physical hunger please reach out to all open avenues for assistance and if on the other hand you can supply assistance in some way shape or form, please do so through time, talent or treasury.

However, my premise here in this article is not only to touch upon our nation’s physical hunger needs but to also identify our spiritual hunger needs. Since, I believe that the things in our physical realm point to similar situations occurring in our spiritual realm; it is of utmost importance that we recognize there is a spiritual hunger growing in our nation. If indeed physical hunger has been on the rise since the economic down turn began in 2008, then I believe the same is true of our spiritual hunger.

I believe people are craving for a supply of God that is real and satisfying to their souls as bread is to their stomachs. I do not believe they are hungry for the outlandish in terms of decadent cakes or pies but rather for the essential elements of a God as basic as bread. While dreamy deserts might be nice, I think the majority of people realize they need their basics met first and foremost.

Although we hunger for the spiritual, why are we not seeing God move like we desire? Why does our hunger go unabated? Could the reasons be in line with the reasons for physical hunger? I believe the answer is yes they are!

Due to a spiritual economic downturn in our nation, we have stripped our selves of the greatest resource available to us. By economic downturn in a spiritual sense, I am referring to a reduction in our exchange of Godly thoughts, conversations and examples. When we as a nation have prohibited discussion of God in the classroom, in the courts and soon perhaps even in the workplace, we have restricted the currency of God’s power to operate in our lives.

Secondly, I believe our hunger for the spiritual arises because of our remote location. We have independently sanctioned ourselves to avoid bible studies, church fellowship groups or prayer meetings. We have withdrawn from society because of all the negativism we’ve seen around ourselves and kept our thoughts and opinions of God to ourselves as a result. Because of our remoteness, we have quietly watched as the satisfaction of our religious rights have been plucked up by the roots and false non-nutritious fillers have replaced the substance of true religious freedoms.

So what’s the answer to addressing our spiritual hunger? I believe it’s in digging in to the word of God and by doing so we will realize the fulfillment of these scriptures:

“O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” (Psalm 34:8 KJV)

“For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” (Psalm 107:9 KJV)

“He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.” (Luke 1:53 KJV)

The funny thing about hunger though is that it is never fully satisfied. Sure, we can sit down to a great meal and leave the table full or even overly stuffed, however within a matter of a few hours our hunger will return and if ignored we can end up in the same situation we found ourselves in previously. Hence, it is important that we know the source of nourishment in order that we may return repeatedly when hunger strikes. Therefore, take these scriptures, place them in your heart, and think upon them constantly for true soul satisfaction.

“For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” (John 6:33 KJV)

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35 KJV)

Keep in mind that it’s the hungry both physically and spiritually that leave no crumbs behind. They eat what they can and all that is set before them because the hunger is so great as to consume every morsel. (Just read the story found in Matthew 15:21-28)

Hunger can be a good thing too at times because it acts as a motivator. It causes us to pursue and to work for what it is we need. It alters our thinking into purer modes and helps us focus on what is truly important. (Take a glance at Matthew 6:33)

Lastly, think about this; we live in the greatest nation on earth that still possesses the most religious freedom – for now. There are plenty of resources available to us to satiate our spiritual hunger. We can attend church, seek out a bible study, proclaim the word on street corners or pray with someone in need. In fact, we have in the past as a nation been called upon to send missionaries across the globe to share our spiritual wealth. But the landscape is slowly changing just like hunger starts to wear on the hungry, faces become thin, bodies become lanky and the cries become louder. Let’s not wait to address the issue before too many non-reversible affects set in. I would encourage you if you are physically hungry to seek out the help you need. Ask for help; don’t let pride keep you from receiving what you need. Also, if you are in need spiritually, seek out the assistance for your soul that can turn things around. Again, don’t let pride keep you from knowing a God who can meet your needs as scripture proclaims: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 KJV)

God Bless! – Rick


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