Hunger Is No Game

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35

Eight hundred and forty million people worldwide don’t have enough food to satisfy basic nutritional needs. One out of every six Americans face hunger. Food insecurity is a problem that causes physical deficiency, nutritional deficiency, mental deficiency, anxiety, hopelessness, and a myriad of other problems.

Statistics are frightening; with numbers so high, the grandest effort makes only a small impact. Still, it’s essential to do our part. Since every one person is important to God, an opportunity to help should be viewed as a privilege. Deuteronomy 15:11 says there will always be hungry in the land and commands we be openhanded to the needy in our communities. There’s no shortness of opportunity, no shortness of privilege.

BUT…Haven’t needy people in fact become a nuisance with their irresponsible ways?

I’ve met many people with this attitude because they’ve gotten caught up in someone else’s issues. They’ve become analysts and problem solvers. While the needy become more dependent on their care.  Then when the needy don’t comply with the well founded solutions, the helper walks away, leaving the helped in a worse way. Hurting people are not in a state where an instant fix is possible. They need compassion. They need time. Growth is a process.

Hunger has many faces: loneliness, sadness, weight issues, yearning, emptiness. We all suffer from some form of it at one time or another. That’s why we should be mindful how we think about others. We can be a friend. But we are not equipped to solve the layers of life people struggle with. Thankfully, Christ is able. That’s why it’s vitally important to continually point people to– or back to– Him. God doesn’t intend for us to get caught up in situations that sap the very strength we hoped to extend. He intends us to come alongside and allow them to observe our walk. It’s a mouth watering experience that stimulates their hunger, their search for food.

Jesus is a faithful source of nourishment. We are the vessel of His Spirit. He works within us and will work within them. Some people can plod right through hard times, while others get stuck. As His hands and feet, our task is to feed them in a way that promotes their growth. It’s sad to see people fall into complacency, waiting for change to fall in their laps. Sadder still to enable them to stay there, rather than empower them towards Christ.

Jesus says, “Come.” May we be openhanded to lead them to the Bread of Life. He promises they will never go hungry or thirsty again.

 

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