It’s been several years now that Landon Jones hasn’t had a satisfying meal or drink. Not that Landon hasn’t been offered great-tasting dishes. The problem lies with his appetites. He has none. You see, back in 2013, 11-year-old Landon woke up without any desire to eat or drink. The night before, this pudgy boy had gone to bed with a stomach full of pizza and ice cream. And that was the last time Landon experienced any pleasure from eating.
Ever since, Landon’s parents have had to persistently nag him to eat and drink. Medical personnel have even prescribed a gastronomy for him – to create a portal through which food can be inserted directly into his stomach. Within a year he went from 110 pounds down to 67. His complete loss of appetite has not only contributed to his dangerous weight loss, but has also left him painfully lethargic, dizzy, and in constant threat of kidney failure, as well as harm to other vital organs.
Over the years doctors have run a battery of tests to determine the cause of Landon’s problem. But they’ve found nothing conclusively wrong with him – though they suspect there’s a problem with his hypothalamus. To this day his case remains a medical mystery.
I realize that some of us might be thinking, “I wish I’d lose my appetite for food – at least for a little while.” Yet it’s amazing how much our physical health and survival are dependent upon the basic physiological drives of hunger and thirst. It’s for a good reason we suffer these discomforts. They ensure our survival.
I suspect the same can be true for those unsatisfied desires for approval, acceptance, and even love. The aching emptiness within is what ultimately drives us into the embrace of our Heavenly Father. We may turn to many distractions in the pursuit of happiness – by trying to find complete fulfillment and the meeting of all our needs in some other person, career, academic achievement, the completion of goals. But all of them are poor substitutes for the God who created us for Himself.
So don’t curse the unsatisfied hunger and thirst within you. Don’t blame your spouse for not meeting all your needs. No human being can do that. Only God can fill your heart. And He uses our unsatisfied yearnings as the means of bringing us to Himself and preparing us for heaven. Saint Augustine was right when he prayed, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” Jesus once declared, “Blessed (joyful, happy) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (or justice), for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). It is the hungering and thirsting for good and noble things – things so hard to find down here – which prepare us for heaven above. Even when that hunger and thirst brings us to our knees, we should consider ourselves blessed. God is fitting us for heaven.
PRAYER: Dear Father in heaven, hungry and empty-hearted I come now to You. Your loving embrace is where I truly belong, for nothing of this earth can ever fully satisfy. People and things will always disappoint me. But knowing You and experiencing Your love will bring healing to my heart and peace to my soul. Amen.