Thanksgiving Makes Me Hungry​

From Paul Tripp Ministries

The little girl
prances into the dining room,
after waiting patiently for hours
on Thanksgiving day,
announcing to her mama “I’m hungry.”
The old man,
tray on his lap,
unable to feed himself,
waits for assistance
as he mumbles,
“I’m hungry.”
The teenager,
alone in the school cafeteria,
craving for a companion,
watches packs of friends
sitting together and thinks,
“I’m hungry.”
The young MBA graduate,
newly arrived in New York,
stands on a sidewalk
on Wall Street
and says to himself,
“I’m hungry.”
The little boy,
temporarily lost
in the biggest toy store
he’s ever been in,
looks wide-eyed
at the magical displays
and whispers,
“I’m hungry.”
The rugged officer,
surveying the battlefield,
contemplating the rages of war,
longing for a final peace,
with a tired heart thinks,
“I’m hungry.”
The expectant mother,
having lost children
before birth,
silently weeps in fear,
hoping for good news
and in her tears prays,
“I’m hungry.”
The artist stares at another
finished canvas,
glances at too many
stacked against the studio wall,
longing for a gallery opportunity,
with disappointment says,
“I’m hungry.”
The patient sits in the oncology center,
another day, another infusion,
wearied by the struggle of disease,
too weak to hope for health,
her tears once again say,
“I’m hungry.”
Single and middle age,
the dream of marriage
flickering and fading,
loneliness overwhelming,
unlocks the empty apartment
and once again mumbles to no one,
“I’m hungry.”

Humanity is a community
of the hungry:
hungry for food
hungry for acceptance
hungry for success
hungry for peace
hungry for hope
hungry for home
hungry for satisfaction
hungry for rest
hungry for safety
hungry for a future
hungry for love.
Our deepest hungers
are not physical
they are deeply spiritual;
our hearts growl
with hunger
for what was meant to be,
for how the world was designed to be,
for what we were created to be,
for rescue from what was not meant to be.
Our deeper hunger
is only satisfied at one table,
only satiated by one food,
only craving one banquet.

Deep in every human heart
is a hunger for the Lord’s
table of grace,
where hungry souls
eat and are satisfied,
with no work of their own,
with no cost to them,
the meal paid for by their host
by the price of his life,
an expression of the extent
of his mercy.
So, when you are hungry,
wherever you are,
with others
or alone,
whatever you are hungry for,
remember that every human hunger
points you to a deeper hunger,
one only satisfied by your
His satisfying table is open to you
only because of his
His banquet is the one
soul-satisfying feast
that will never ever end.

“Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.”
(Isaiah 55:1-2, ESV)

God bless,

Paul David Tripp

Reflection Questions

1. Read Matthew 25:31-40 (“For I was hungry and you gave me food…as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”). How can you satisfy someone’s physical hunger through hospitality or alleviate other physical burdens through service and generosity in a way that opens the door to conversations about their spiritual hunger? Think of someone specific that God has placed in your life. What is stopping you?

2. Consider the list of all the spiritual hungers we experience: acceptance, success, peace, hope, home, satisfaction, rest, safety, future, love (or something similar). Identify one or two and when and where you still feel hunger pangs. How did you respond to them most recently?

3. Are you discouraged that these spiritual hungers will never fully be satisfied until eternity? How can you prepare yourself to persevere? How can you preach the gospel to yourself in these moments when you experience that spiritual hunger? Be specific.

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Thanksgiving Makes Me Hungry

New Hope Presbyterian Church Bridgeton, NJ

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