Rhonda Rhea: Keeping a tight lid on our hungers

I know I’ve complained about the state of my refrigerator before, but I’ve found a way to have a better attitude about it. When I get ready to put something in there, I just psych myself up for a challenging game of food Jenga. It’s amazing to me that as soon as the Tupperware tower is so impressive that I’m afraid to even nudge it, that’s when I need the container that’s two from the bottom. This is the stuff of an improved prayer life.

If you’re playing food Jenga and you’ve been using the cheaper plastic containers, I’m going to tell you right now that the stakes are higher. Much higher. Balance is crucial. A bad tumble plus a couple of lid pop-offs and you can have a toxic spill on your hands. And floor. And don’t even try to save those shoes.

Some people have suggested I try something radical. Like cleaning out the fridge a little more often. I tried that the other day. I found some chicken mushroom soup in there. Soup I hardly remembered making. Troubling. I thought to myself, yeah, if I can’t remember making it, that probably means it’s too old, right? But then I remembered making it. And I remembered I didn’t put mushrooms in it. So, yeah. Definitely too old.

After I got rid of that container and then another one that made me wonder if someone had started some kind of refrigerator compost, I totally lost my appetite. The food Jenga game is the you-may-never-get-hungry-again of hunger games. I didn’t even want to think about food. So I got on Facebook and looked at pictures of other people’s dinners instead.

To be honest, my appetite could use some balancing anyway. Spiritually, too. In Matt. 5:6 Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” The words translated “hunger and thirst” refer to a powerful, passionate desire. And the form of the words used in the Greek suggest continuous action. The word for “satisfied” means to eat until completely full.

Now that’s going to take some balance. To stay hungry and to be satisfied at the same time. The hunger for Jesus to fill us drives us to Him – and He is the only one who can completely satisfy. He fills us with everything we need to walk in righteousness.

Staying hungry. Staying full. It’s the most beautiful paradox – a reminder that seeking the Lord and His righteousness is more vital to life than any food. Never mind the chicken soup. Give me Him. And it’s a reminder as well that there’s never a time when we seek His presence that we are not oh so fully satisfied. “But I will see Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be satisfied with Your presence” (Ps. 17:15). Crave His righteousness. Be filled with His presence.

If we hunger for anything else, place our deepest passions anywhere or in anyone else, we’ll no doubt experience an entirely different kind of hunger. It’s an emptiness – a fruitlessness and a powerlessness. The stakes are just too high to play that game.

So I’m shooting for keeping a tight lid on my hungers. Burped, sealed and balanced. Incidentally, also a tight lid on my Tupperware. Because I really like these shoes.