For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things...
blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Psalm 107:9, Jesus' sermon on the mount
New York Times columnist David Brooks last year (February 2018) went around the country interviewing students at some of the most prestigious campuses in America. He admits that the students he met represent only "a tiny slice of the rising generation," but, still, their comments were striking. Note how Brooks concluded his article:
I came away from these conversations thinking that one big challenge for this generation is determining how to take good things that are happening on the local level and translate them to the national level, where the problems are. I was also struck by pervasive but subtle hunger for a change in the emotional tenor of life. "We're more connected but we're more apart," one student lamented. Again and again, students expressed a hunger for social and emotional bonding, for a shift from guilt and accusation toward empathy. "How do you create relationship?" one student asked. That may be the longing that undergirds all others.
The bottom line of Christianity is learning to love God and people well. There is a "soul hunger" in each of us that can be partially satisfied with many things, some good, some not so good. The deepest hunger in a human being is fully satisfied only as she grows a relationship with God through Jesus; out of the flow of that satisfied hunger, she may then develop healthy relationships with people. Living "more connected but more apart" describes much of daily life for we Americans.
The Psalmist arrested my attention with his description of God: he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things...could we be looking for "food" in all the wrong places? It is an appropriate metaphor for me; I grew up satisfying my own emotional pain with comfort food, and live with the consequences of eating too many Snickers and late night bowls of ice cream (Diabetes type 2). I have learned / am learning, however, that time in Father's presence, quietly soaking in His Spirit's love, satisfies and fills me. What are you hungry for?