This is a question that I am still rattled with. How far are we willing to go for God? How much do I hunger for Him? Really – hunger, since I’ve never really quite experienced it?
This question was prompted by what happened while we were teaching at Pastor Moshe’s church. See, the story began when I met Mike at the airport in New York. He was carrying a fairly large and heavy box with the Desiring God logo on it. Immediately I asked him what it was because I LOVE John Piper’s ministry. He said that while he was at a Pastor’s conference, he was introduced to a ministry through DG that provides “theological famine relief for the global church.” John Piper has received thousands of requests from pastors and lay ministers around the world who are hungry to know more about the God’s Word. This put a burden in his heart to provide materials in other languages to help provide for this famine. Find out more about it HERE – especially if you are going overseas any time soon!
So Mike signed up since he knew he was going to Tanzania and he lugged this box with him all the way from Fargo, North Dakota. We were told we’d be meeting with the pastor who requested the resources…but again, God had more in store.
First, upon meeting these men, their faces radiated with a glow and there was a deep joy emanating from their smiles! Even in their handshakes, it was filled with warmth and love – like family you had not seen in a long while. Mike spoke through our interpreter and presented the box to the men. They held onto it, all 3 of them and kept saying “Asante sana! Asante sana!”. Then they tore into the box and held the different Bible study materials as if it were pure gold or a treasure chest being opened after spending years searching. WOW. They were so hungry – not for anything else, but the Word and to know Him more. They kept saying “THANK YOU!” and we just smiled and were amazed.
But it got better – See, these men began to share about how they got to Pastor Moshe’s church. They had traveled 4 DAYS to get there. They didn’t have the money to travel, so in faith they left, asking along the way for money from where they began, which was a refugee camp in ZAMBIA. 4 DAYS FOR THE WORD OF GOD! They didn’t have the money but they had the hunger and faith to GO.
WOW. WOW. WOW. My heart was so stirred! I thought about all the incredible resources I have at my finger tips that help me to know my Lord better. What’s worse is that many are just chillin’ and collecting dust on the shelf at my apartment. I thought about how desperate they were, as 2 lay people and 1 pastor, to set out and pursue the One who Pursued them. They counted the cost and said, “Well worth it – to know not how, but to go after God despite it.” I thought about how – plainly stated – they HUNGERED for God.
I thought about Psalm 42 and how the psalmist’s greatest longing was GOD ALONE:
As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
I thought of David and how he compared his longing to knowing God as a desert wasteland stemming from a great ache welling up inside his being. Imagine being stuck in a desert with NO water, on the brink of death. It’s hard to fathom being physically parched and devoid of water – to the point of death. But that’s how David longed for God and he cried out “MY GOD”.
You, God, are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you,
my whole being longs for you,
as in a dry and parched land
where there is no water.
Y’all, I was ruined. Laid waste. Convicted to the core. Humbled and deeply challenged yet again, not to live comfortably, flippantly, weakly – devoid of nourishment, which is a life devoid of Jesus Himself. I want to hunger like these men and I’m not exactly sure how to get there – but I’m asking. We have so many blessings here – but so many can do the opposite. It can make us fat and lazy, and not really realize what it means to hunger and thirst for Jesus as though life depended on it…because it should!