Have you ever spent much time around truly HUNGRY or STARVING people? I'm not talking about someone who has missed a meal between breakfast and dinner. I'm talking about a child or adult that hasn't eaten for days. Or, if they have eaten, it's been small morsels of food. Not life-giving, health-sustaining food with substance to it.
For nine straight years, I was blessed enough to go on a mission trip to Juarez, Mexico with our former home church Cross Bend Christian Church in Plano, Tx. We would spend a week in some of the poorest areas of Juarez building the equivilent of a single car garage - four walls and a roof - for a family that currently lived on a dirt floor lean-to whose walls and ceiling were made of pallets and cardboard boxes. There were many days that these families went without food.
As we built the house during the week, our van would be swarmed each day around lunch time by the kids who at times had not eaten for DAYS! These children did not have a look in their eyes that said "hey, if you have something extra, that would be great;" or "if there's some leftovers that you can throw my way, I'd appreciate it;" or "if I get some food that's OK; if I don't, that's OK too." No, these kids had actions and looks that aligned that said "I need food NOW!" The hungriest always found a way to get to the head of the group; the kids who had the biggest desire for food did not understand the word 'NO.'
I've thought a lot about those faces and the longing in their eyes these last few weeks as I reflect on how we drift away from the cross as we're prone to do. As Robert Robinson wrote in the wonderful hymn "Come Thou Fount"
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be
Let thy goodness like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it
Prone to leave the One I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it
Seal it for thy courts above
It breaks God's heart when I admit that there have been times in my life - especially over the last year - that I have lived out those words that Robinson wrote in the late 1700's. While I've let the busyness of life pull me away from His table, I haven't ever missed a regular meal. I might not have had time for His life-giving Word, but I sure had time to feed my face for breakfast, lunch, dinner and probably a snack or two during the day!
Since He put the brakes on my "wandering heart" almost two months ago, I pray constantly that my hunger and need for God be as evident as those children in Mexico's hunger for food! I pray that each day I wake LONGING for His Bread of Life and not have an apathetic "well, if I can fit Him in today I will" type attitude. I pray that my desire to eat from His table far out-measure my desire for the junk food of the world; my desire for eating from His feast supersede my selfish hunger for time-wasting activities that bring no value to my calling to seek His Kingdom first. I want selfishly to be the first in line each day as we run at break-neck speed to His throne! My prayer is that I will be a Glutton For God!