With seven little ones at home, we have a little pantry filled with (mostly) healthy snacks. There’s hardly a waking hour that goes by that one of the kids doesn’t ask for a snack. They request sugary snacks first. Our kids’ constant hunger for sweets means my wife and I must always be conscientious of meal times so we don’t spoil their major meals. We want the kids to feast on the more substantial stuff, and keeping them hungry cultivates a deeper hunger for more substantial foods. If we miss those more significant meals, they will not grow to their full potential. If we ignore those significant meals, they will be malnourished and sick.
Many Christians fast during the season of Lent. Among many things, fasting brings forth a deeper hunger for the more substantial things of God. What if God satisfied every one of our superficial impulses and requests? What if we lived off of spiritual donuts? Filling up on light snacks keeps us from hungering after the more substantial foods that fill, nourish, and ultimately grow us. The same is true spiritually. Fasting allows our hunger to go deeper, and the deeper hunger we have for God, the deeper the work he can do in us.
Is it possible that God is not answering all of your prayers exactly how you want because he is working with you to cultivate a hunger for deeper things? Is the gift he has for you better than the one you ask for?
During Lent, moving past some of the more superficial requests is essential. Yes, the simple requests are good, but we must go deeper. He has a meal for us that he wants us to partake in that will fill us and nourish us in a way we have never been nourished. A deep hunger, however, is required for that meal to do its work.
It is very possible, even likely, that there are deep wounds and deep sins that cannot make their way to the surface because we are living on spiritual donuts. The Holy Spirit wishes to draw out those things (Jn. 16:8). We must allow the Holy Spirit to take us deeper into the unspoken, mysterious depths of ourselves (and himself) to bring a more thorough and complete healing to our condition that is plagued with inherited and acquired sin. The Holy Spirit continues working until the work is complete. Are you willing to go deeper with him?
This Lent, ask that the Holy Spirit cultivate in your a deeper hunger for the deeper things of God.