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What Only Hunger Can Do

Are you satisfied yet?

When I look around my home, my office, my schedule, my life, I see evidence everywhere that I am not. My fridge is full. So are my cabinets. My closet has items I haven’t worn in a year. I have stacks of books in my office—must-reads as well as a whole shelf marked “skim.” Too often, my calendar feels like I’m playing Tetris.

Then there’s my phone: that dinging, buzzing tile I keep nearby in case of emergency…or a few moments waiting in line.

I spend most of my life filling my time, my attention, my mind, my stomach. In truth, much of this is a desperate attempt to hide from myself how utterly hungry I am.

Enter Lent.

I lead a Christian ministry, I have a loving wife and kids, I enjoy so much of life, and I am blessed far beyond what I could ever deserve. So maybe this persistent hunger is bad PR, or scandalous, or a sign of spiritual immaturity.

Maybe.

But here’s the truth: There is a hunger none of this can fill, a loneliness no loved one can reach, an ache no food or drink or song or show can quench. And that hunger, that hunger can hurt to feel.

Thank God for Lent. Lent is meant to expose this hunger.

Lent is a season of reflection: What am I hungry for and where am I taking my hungers?

Lent is a season of mourning: Where have I sinned against God or others in my pursuit of satisfaction?

Lent is a season of repentance: Where do I need to turn from false gods—anything besides God Himself I’ve trusted to satisfy my deepest hungers?

Lent is a season of fasting: What will I go without that I might feel my hunger? What will I go without to make room for Christ, who alone can satisfy my deep, abiding hunger?

Most voices that fill our days will continue to say eat, drink, buy, read, join, click, watch, listen. But how much more information do you need? How much more money, entertainment, health, food, drink, belonging, experience, reassurance, or affection is enough?

Lent invites us to stop chasing more, and instead to go without.

Lent invites us into hunger not because God wants us to lack, but because we do lack already, immensely.

Lent invites us to hunger not because God doesn’t want us to enjoy the blessings He gives here and now, but so we might re-set our affections on the One who alone can fill our gaping emptiness.

Lent invites us to hunger because there are things only hunger can do. How will you hunger this Lent? Leave a comment below.

Unsatisfied,
Josh

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6 thoughts on “What Only Hunger Can Do”

  1. Thank you, Josh. I have, in a way, already began my fast. Saturday will be 8 weeks no alcohol, over 3 weeks no sugar & 10 days of fasting from carbs that fuel my workouts, which in turn has forced me to cut back on them as well. I tend to make my fitness level an idol. I want to lay this down for Lent. Great message & thanks again.

  2. Thanks for sharing Josh. Television can be a great distraction for me, so I plan to fast from TV. Instead of hearing the teachings of the world that come from this instrument, I want to chose to focus on the teachings of one greater than the voice in the world.

    1. Scott I love your heart in this. Could I lovingly push you to our podcast during this fast 🙂

  3. Thanks Josh. Really good post. One of my favorite U2 songs is “I still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”. If you haven’t haven’t seen them perform that song live, I highly recommend it. It’s a spiritual experience. Anyway, Bono captured in that song exactly what you are talking about.

    You broke the bonds
    and you loosened chains
    carried the cross of my shame, of my shame
    You know I believe it
    But I still haven’t found
    What I’m looking for
    But I still haven’t found
    What I’m looking for

  4. You challenge me. I’d just about given up giving up for lent. I have to rethink that…and quick (since were already in Lent!) I do want to find more and more of Him.

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