I have a theory. Well, maybe not a theory, more like a thought that’s percolating. Well, maybe it’s just my runaway imagination. In any case, it probably won’t hold up to close scrutiny or informed research, but if you’ll humor me for a few hundred words, I’ll unpack it for you. I think I know what hunger pangs really are. When it’s been a while since our last meal, our internal food processing network sends out an all-departments memo calling for a meeting in the stomach room. As the various department heads scurry to attend, their rushing about registers as those oh-so-familiar feelings of approaching starvation that we call hunger pangs. When the aromas from the kitchen are inhaled, the scrambling increases (what we think of as intense hunger pangs). When we sit down at the table with a plated meal before us, those delicious waftings create a frenzy of activity as the Department of Fats, the Department of Carbohydrates, the Department of Sugars, the Department of Energies, the Department of Nutrients, the Department of Vitamins, plus a few other less well-known departments all cram in, in anticipation of the incoming feast. When the food arrives, each department representative lunges for his/her portion and is immediately dispatched back to specified theaters of operation to do whatever it is they have been assigned to do. (I have no clue. I’m just glad they know!) It’s at this point that our hunger pangs vanish, having been replaced with a quieting contentment as the Department of Naps comes in to gently press down on our eyelids. So, now you know – or not.
I see a parallel with our spiritual journeys. Our Salvation is a fully perfected discipleship package with many ‘departments’ if you will. These departments are at work 24/7, behind the scenes, under the direction of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus, Himself, is constantly interceding for the success of these departments in their tireless efforts to equip us to announce His Kingdom. Here are a few departments I’d like to mention: The Adoption Department has as its mission to bring us to the point of believing the incredible – that God really, really, really loves us (that is one busy department, demanding tons of overtime!). The Friends-with-Jesus Department works to overcome a library full of lies – mostly concerning our worthiness (this is a huge department with plenty of OT as well). Then, there’s the Kingdom Ambassadorship Department seeking to make clear to us Scriptural truths and exhortations so we can be confidently about the Father’s business. When we ‘feel’ the Holy Spirit, while feeding ourselves in worship or prayer or Scripture reading or in fellowship or in nature, I think it is all the internal activity of these various departments scurrying around building us up with the spiritual nourishment we’re taking in. Through all this, we free the Holy Spirit up to communicate the next exciting thing God has for us. You know what? I’m ravenous all of a sudden! PD