Every time I go to my Nana’s house, the first thing I always do is go straight to the fridge, and open it. (While swallowing the fun-size candy bar I snagged from the candy dish on the way to the kitchen). Hungry or satisfied, in search of food or not, the first thing I do is head to and open that fridge. Why? Because grandparents ALWAYS have way better food and snacks at their house! (and there’s always a cold Diet Coke too)
In all twenty-four years of my life, I’ve never opened that fridge, that pantry, or the cabinets and seen nothing to eat. In fact, I can’t remember opening any fridge, pantry, or cabinets in my lifetime and not finding something to eat. Now, that’s not to say I didn’t open cabinets to see something I didn’t prefer to eat. But, yes, there has most certainly always been something to eat wherever I was.
What a blessing.
There are people right in your neighborhood who may not have something to eat for dinner tonight. I know for a fact there are people in your city, in your county, who don’t have something to eat for dinner tonight – they are sitting in our lobby at LICS right now. Being starving is something we joke about around 12:30 when it’s time to elect someone to order Jimmy Johns. But being truly hungry, or thirsty is a big deal.
When Jesus first began preaching and went through Galilee, teaching and proclaiming the good news, He went up on a mountainside before his disciples and crowds of people from all over. He preached the famous Beatitudes:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” -“Matthew 5:3-12
The reality is, we’ve all been one of those people, feeling one of those things. Maybe you feel one of those things today, or maybe you feel all of those things today. There will most likely be a time in which we’re all hungry, or thirsty. It may be a physical hunger, the desire for something- anything to satisfy the growls of our body. Or it could just as easily be a spiritual hunger, the desire and longing to hear the whispers of our Lord in your life- the reminder that he is still there.
There will be times when we’re poor in spirit, when we let this world knock us down. I know there are times when we will be poor (the day before payday, when we feel like we’re starving!). We will mourn for the loss of things on this Earth- whether it is a family member, a home, a relationship, money, or a job. We will be insulted, we will be hurt. We will be offended. This isn’t just a fact of life, but was promised to us. (John 16:33) Some days we will feel like this world is against us, and it very well may be.
But the good news is this: we are not of this world, and neither is our Father.
Jesus reminds us in John 15:18-19, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”
Did you hear that? Jesus chose YOU. He chose me. He paid a high price for us. And although we may feel poor when we see our bank statement, we may feel poor in spirit because of choices we’ve made, we may be mourning a loss, we may be hurt by being talked about in an unkind way, or we may feel persecuted today; despite these things we are blessed.
Remember that word, blessed, when your mind tries to tell you otherwise. And remember “Rejoice, and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.”