DayBreaks for 5/08/20: The Hunger and the Thirst
From the DayBreaks archive, May 2010:
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled. – Jesus
Just prior to my traveling to Haiti, I was getting ready to preach on the Beatitudes as part of a series I’ve been doing on the teaching of Jesus. As I anticipated what I would see in Haiti, I had an intellectual and spiritual question: would the statements Jesus made in the Beatitudes hold up in the crucible of suffering in Haiti, or would they be found to be nice platitudes, but rather “leaky” when put to the test? I wrestled with the questions posed by the Beatitudes while I was there, not the least of which was: do those who mourn in Haiti feel “blessed”?
So as I contemplated the Beatitudes both before, during and after my time there, my curiosity traveled through the realm of skepticism and finally wound up in the land of confidence in the truth of Jesus’ statements in spite of conditions that many would think would show his words to be nothing more than nice-sounding oratory.
How, for example, are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness filled? Consider this story: an Albanian nun spent 16 years of her life teaching world geography to the wealthy daughters of British and Bengali parents. A time came when she was on break from her duties. She took a train trip to the Himalayas, and as the train carried her closer and closer to her destination, she heard a voice that called her to change the direction of her life – to stop teaching geography to the daughters of the rich and to start caring for the poor and hungry. She not only heard that voice, but she yielded to it and began the ministry that would consume the rest of her life. She is better known to the world as Mother Theresa.
What does that have to do with hungering and thirsting after righteousness? Everything. Those people who spend their lives in caring for the orphans, the widows, the poor and hungry, do so not because of the material goods that they accumulate along the way, but because they are hungering and thirsting for righteousness itself. They understand, deep in their souls, that Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1:27 Caring for such persons is at the heart of hungering and thirsting for righteousness for all of God’s creation.
How are the selfless people who hunger and thirst after righteousness filled? Ask yourself this question, and I think the answer will be obvious: do you think Mother Theresa was more filled during the later part of her life as she cared for the poor and outcast, or when she was teaching world geography? It is pretty obvious, isn’t it?
Are you hungering and thirsting for righteousness? Do you want to see righteousness not only in your own life, but in the world? Are you doing anything to join with God as He labors on behalf of the world’s “rejects”? Are you tired of being empty? Get hungry for real righteousness – and you will be filled!
PRAYER: Lord, increase our hunger and thirst for the things that you long for and that move your heart. Fill our longing for a life that truly matters! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2010 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>