You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat (Matthew 5:6, The Message).
As a child, I was coaxed to eat my spinach and other green vegetables to grow and be strong like Popeye the Sailor Man. As an adult, I know it is critical to eat my green vegetables to be strong and to stay healthy. In fact, today I have an appetite for green vegetables and it’s the same appetite that I now have for God. We need to eat our vegetables and God is like that vegetable. He is our nourishment; nourishing our soul, our spirit, in such a way, that we hunger for more.
I think we hunger more for God when things don’t go as planned. We hunger for God, when one day of missed blessings, turns into weeks and then to months. I hunger for His love, His comfort, for His wisdom and just to know who this God is. I am so hungry for God that I am salivating.
It is ironic but, for me, this Beatitude verse closely aligns with Psalm 111:10a, which reads “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (NIV). The Message Bible says that the “the good life begins in the fear of God”. Fear in this case, means our reverence to our God. It means that we accept His awesomeness. When I think of God’s awesomeness, I think of an all powerful being that cannot be manipulated or controlled; a being that I desire to know in a more intimate way.
To get there I must have wisdom and that wisdom attainment begins when I seek, when I hunger for that relationship with God. A relationship that may require us to “wrestle with God, play with God, weep with God, argue with God, laugh with God, love God—and (yes) fear God…(Richard Schmidt, 2005, p. 273)*.
When we get to a place and realize that God is greater than our image of Him. That heaven is more than that pie in the sky; we then hunger to know more of God; sometime weeping, sometime in anger, but always in reverence and awe and always with an appetite for more.
*Schmidt, Richard H. (2005). Praises, Prayers, & Curses: Conversations with the Psalms. Cincinnati,Ohio: Forward Movement.
“I called out to God from habit more than from expectation and because I had no one else to call to” (Richard H. Schmidt, 245).*
God, I thank you for taking the brunt of my blame and anger. Thank you for being with me even through my doubts and fear.
God, I thank you for hearing my prayers and rescuing me when no one else cared or could. Thank you for being my comforter, and my shepherd.
Thank you for being there when I call on you when I am in distress; and somehow and in some way, you have that answer for me.
Like Richard, I too call upon you out of habit, but you know God some habits are good for our health and our souls. I pray that I will never break this habit. I pray that someday my prayers won’t be out of habit, but a desire to have that special relationship with you. Amen.
Schmidt, Richard H. Praises Prayers & Curses: Conversations with the Psalms. Forward Movement, 2005.
“Only when we are willing to change and invite God to do his good pleasure in us, will the perplexity of our minds and the ache in our hearts abate” (Richard H. Schmidt, Praises, Prayers & Curses, p.35).
I wish I could agree with Mr. Schmidt. It sounds very logical. It’s an easy out to all the perplexing questions about life and all that our eyes see about life. But, then Psalm 13:2 rang strongly in my ears:
“How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart?”
It may be a lifetime for me—because I am so stubborn. I want my cake now. What does God want with me (I have been studying Job)? I am a decent human being. I am no different from anyone else.
If God wants something from me—WHY DOESN’T GOD SPEAK CLEARLY? Why must I try to figure out this puzzle? Why must I play this game? I meditate daily; I am obedient to the commandments, yet, this loving God and the life that I live seem not to be in sync.
What do you have me to do Lord? What would you have me to do? Remove my fears; dampen my will; so I can be obedient to what you want me to do. And then God speaks:
You must remain flexible, teachable. I am the potter and you are the clay (Jeremiah 18:1-6).
- God Is My Refuge (markbyrd.wordpress.com)
I had a pity party yesterday. I felt sorry for myself. Nothing is going as planned. Why should I an innocent, suffer? What is this all about? God, are you teaching me to be patient? Is there’s something better, as we like to say to cheer ourselves, or is this just life; and bad things happen to good people.
I hope not. I have seen bad things happen to good people. It is not pretty and it is not fair. My friends and my colleagues feel my pain too. But soon they will forget. They have to forget, and life for them will go on as before. But the ones that suffer—suffer still.
Richard H. Schmidt writes: “When we let our happiness depend on some future event, often something unlikely to happen and perhaps something that wouldn’t be best for us anyway, our waiting becomes tense and anxious. The key to waiting contentedly is to focus upon God.”* God, I am definitely focused on you-‘yeah right!’
Max Lucado writes: “(God) said no to good things so (God) could say yes to the right thing….”** I am wondering what that right thing is for me? You have been there too, huh.
God, I had a pity party yesterday and I want to have another one today. But you know what; I will fight this ‘poor me’ syndrome. I am better than this. I have choices. I choose to embrace the positive and even find good in this bad. This is what I know:
- God alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:2.
- For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11.
So God, I am reminded that I am on a journey. This wonderful journey; a journey that requires me to be attuned to every facet of my life; an opportunity to yearn and learn, to dream the impossible; an opportunity to re-think my direction, but more than anything; to trust you, to put my faith into action, to live out Psalm 23:1: “you are my shepherd and I have everything I need.”
Who needs a pity party?
*Richard H. Schmidt. Praises Prayers & Curses Conversations with the Psalms. 2005, p. 123.
**Max Lucado. Cure for the Common Life. 2005, p. 106.