What do you want desperately? More than anything else in the world? So badly you obsess over it, rave about it, dream about it, crave it.
What is it?
Jesus is interested.
The only thing I know about hunger is what I learned from those pangs that come in mid-afternoon after I’ve skipped lunch. The thirstiest I’ve ever been happened when I exercised for a few hours and forgot to take enough water.
The people in Jesus’ world really knew hunger and thirst, though. Food and clean water weren’t always available, so they didn’t wake up every morning with a guarantee that they’d have enough. Caloric deficits were a real possibility.
Jesus taps into that experience to make a crucial spiritual point:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).
I’ve read stories of what people are willing to do to get a piece of bread when they’re starving. Crazy, unthinkable things.
It’s that kind of desperation Jesus has in mind here. He wants us to crave righteousness—his righteousness—more than we want anything else. Like the starving chase after a piece of bread, like the dehydrated seek to slake their thirst with a drink of water.
I want to want it that badly, don’t you?
I want to cry out with the sons of Korah: “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?” (Psalm 42:1-2).
But so often I satisfy my hunger with the world’s empty morsels; I quench my thirst with water that isn’t the Living Water.
Let’s pray about it today. Let’s ask the Lord to make us thirsty for him, not this world’s tempting but fleeting pleasures. That he’ll create a holy hunger in us, a craving for him, for his goodness and righteousness . . . a desire to be right with him.
Let’s pray that he’ll remove all these things that are getting in the way . . . and that we’ll pant for him.
When we hunger for him, when we’re thirsty for his righteousness, he’s promised to satisfy us completely. Don’t you want that?