You’re sitting quietly, minding your own business, and then you hear it. You look around to see if anyone else heard the noise. Just then, it happens again. Yup! Your stomach is growling. It’s not just growling, it’s prowling around like a hungry lion and it won’t stop. You know you’re not really hungry. After all, you had a good dinner and even had dessert, so what’s this all about? You aren’t concerned about where your next meal will come from. You know you could rummage around the cupboard or run out to the local drive-through and get a hearty snack. Maybe if you just wait it out, let it simmer a bit, things will take care of themselves.
So what is it that makes your tummy growl for no reason at all? Maybe you are hungry and a bowl of cereal will be the ticket to quieting things down. Maybe you’re not as much hungry as you are bored or antsy or simply in need of changing your direction. Maybe that growling tummy wants to remind you that deep inside you is a need that hasn’t been filled. There’s a hunger that you have not yet satisfied. Maybe you have a need for another kind of gourmet delight, a kind of spiritual food.
Imagine that you are preparing a great meal and everything is in the oven, and some things are on the back burner waiting to be called to the feast. However, when dinner times rolls around, you take the things from the oven, enjoy them, and totally forget about the foods on the back burner. You leave them there, letting them simmer and stew and eventually dry up. Long after the dinner dishes are washed you remember to check those back burners. Everything is dry and tasteless, some of your favorite family recipes are not really fit for the dog dish. Since you didn’t get to eat these foods, you aren’t really filled up all the way, and before you know it, you hear that noise. Your stomach growls.
If you discover that you often leave your spiritual food on the back burner, you may find that each day, you’re just a little hungrier than you were the day before. Some days, in an effort to get your attention, your stomach will growl so loudly, you realize you need to do something about it. A writer named Thomas Watson said, “God will fill the hungry because He Himself has stirred up the hunger. As in the case of prayer, when God prepares the heart to pray, He prepares His ear to hear. So in the case of spiritual hunger, when God prepares the heart to hunger, He will prepare His hand to fill it.”
If your stomach is growling today, it might be okay to prowl around the kitchen to find something to appease it. Or it might be better to wander over to the table of Grace and see the bountiful spread that has already been prepared for you there. This food, that you didn’t even have to cook, is never on the back burner. It’s always right where you can get to it. This food was prepared in such a way that you will never be hungry again.
Yup! My stomach is growling a bit this morning. Guess I’ll head over to the table and fill up on some gourmet treats that were made with love just for me…and for you too. Come on! There’s no need for us to go hungry today.