Last week was a big week in our house. After waiting several long weeks in silence and what felt like secrecy, my husband and I announced to the social media world that come January, 2016, our little family of two will become a family of three. Since last Saturday, the excitement from our family and friends has been so tremendously encouraging, and finally, I can give an excuse for my growing abdomen.
You hear all sorts of things about pregnancy from other women who have been there and done that before you, but still, there is an element to it for which you simply cannot be prepared. For example, the cravings. Let’s just tackle this one for a moment. Many of you know that from February through May of this year, I began disciplining myself in the area of diet. While I wasn’t overweight and didn’t have any major health issues, I began to be convicted about taking care of my body better than I had been. So, for nearly four months, I dedicated myself to the Whole 30 diet, which is essentially a Paleo diet. I began to experience the benefits almost instantly, and after one month of extreme discipline, I decided to keep going. After the second month, I rarely even craved processed sugars, complex carbs, and dairy. Healthy food was all that sounded good to me, and I was loving it!
And then, we found out that I was pregnant. Don’t get me wrong, this was news that my husband and I both celebrated more than anything. We had been trying to start a family for over a year and had even suffered a miscarriage along the way. We were elated, and a bit scared all at the same time. Sounds about right for first time parents, right? Here’s the twist. Everything I had trained my body to love seemed to instantly fly out the window. Fruits, vegetables, and salads began to induce a gag reflex in me so strong, that I found myself running in the opposite direction. And what was I now hungry for?
Everything that had been on the “do not touch” list for the past four months.
Things that hadn’t appealed to me for years were suddenly finding their way into my shopping cart—things like Ramen noodles, Pop Tarts, Doritos…you get the picture. While healthy foods sounded awful, these new cravings sounded so good. Here’s the interesting part, though. After consuming McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, and the above mentioned list of garbage, one thing was still lacking.
I was never fully satisfied after indulging in donuts and ice cream like I had been when I was feasting on things that were intended to nourish my body because these false substitutes were not intended to satisfy, not fully anyway.
And now, allow me to welcome you to my most recent study within the beatitudes found in Matthew 5, specifically verse six:
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (ESV)
This short recap of my not so proud eating moments has made a significant impact in my study of this one verse this past week. The beatitudes are the beginning statements of blessing that Jesus gave in His famous Sermon on the Mount. What I love so much about these short statements of blessing is that they are so not what you would expect. Think about this one in particular. Hunger and thirst—two things that we do not esteem in our society. Both are unfortunate. Both are avoided at all costs. Neither are valued. But Jesus turns the tables here with these words and forces us to take a different look at the conversation. If nothing else, Matthew 5:6 begs the question:
“What are you hungry for?”
What keeps you up at night and causes you to get up in the morning? What do you crave? What is it that you find yourself constantly wanting more of?
Wisdom from His Word?
Fellowship with His people?
Time spent with Him in prayer?
Or does your list of cravings differ drastically from the above?
Because while Jesus’ words here are nothing short of counter-cultural, they are not difficult to understand. Those who hunger and thirst for the right things are those who will be satisfied. Those who crave more of Jesus and less of temporary comforts are those who will be blessed. Not those who commit their heart and soul to their job in order to climb the corporate ladder. Not those who compromise conviction and morality for a moment of pleasure. Not those who exhaust themselves to portray perfection to those around who are watching.
Those who are desperate, starving, and dehydrated for more of Jesus Christ—they will be satisfied. They will be blessed. Maybe it’s time to rethink our priorities. Because in God’s economy, the way up is down.
Kristen Utley says
LOVE this, Cherie! I have been praying about a couple of big things lately and begging Him to give me a word that would shed light on my path and all He said after much agonizing prayer was, “Seek first my Kingdom, and the rest will be added to you”. I know that He’s telling me that I can’t want those things more than I want him. They can’t be what keeps me up at night or “what I thirst for”. These will not satisfy me long-term and will only soon be replaced by the next “big thing” I am praying about… and so the cycle continues. Then I read in Mt. 6:8 this morning what Jesus said about the babbling pagans and their many words, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” What rest this can give me to just think on Him, His great love for me, His going before me to prepare the solutions to my questions before I even knew to ask them, and the freedom that I can go on about my day while He works all this out for my good and just let Him do His thing.
Cherie Wagner says
Thanks for sharing, Kristen. I honestly love the simplicity in God’s response to your prayer—seek Him first. Isn’t that exactly right in every situation we find ourselves in? Love you, friend.
Denise Hulcher says
Love your transparency here Cherie, and I’ll say it again how excited we are for you two! I love how you tied this all together. Jesus sure did not mince words and I find that when I hunger & thirst after the right things I am filled up and content, but when I chase after the worldly stuff, I am left empty, tired, disappointed and longing. God’s Word never ever fails me; it fills me!