"Andy, don't you want any pizza?"
He shook his head no and sat politely at the table.
"Really buddy, are you sure?"
His answer was intriguing: "No daddy, my tummy's not growling yet."
Wow, he was rejecting this treat simply because his tummy wasn't growling? I loved his honesty. He didn't really deny being hungry, he just didn't want it all that much. Simply put, he wasn't in desperate need.
When our stomach growls, our body sounds the alarm. "Help, I need energy, food, nutrients." What about our spiritual tummy? Is it crying out?
Our spiritual tummy growls when we're hungry to be in the presence of God. What creates this appetite? Problems at work, in marriage, our finances, health...all these things can generate an appetite for nearness to God. When stress and anxiety hit, and we're reminded we can't handle things alone, our spiritual hunger leads us to "ask, seek, and knock" (Matthew 7:7). But so often we wait for that burning feeling in our soul, that hunger pain to start, before our pursuit begins. If we're generally satisfied with our circumstances, maybe we can just skip a meal? We can always be fed tomorrow.
It must sadden the Lord when we wait until we're starving before we sit down to dine with Him. My son was content sitting at the table with me, but wasn't interested in what I could feed him. He just wasn't all that hungry.
Don't we know that if we always wait until we're starving before we eat food, our body won't function effectively? We are at optimum health with consistant, regular, healthy portions. The occasional force-feeding is not our best choice.
It was absurd to hear my boy say he was waiting until his stomach growled before he would eat. So why do we wait until the pressure gets too much, our stress level is through the roof, or we need answered prayer in a hurry before we make the time to meet with the savior? We are healthiest when we meet with the Lord each day, spending time in His Word and eating at his table consistently...long before the pains of hunger begin.