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Blessed are those who hunger and thirst

For they shall be satisfied

During the long, sizzling summer months, I can’t seem to quench my thirst. I can’t seem to drink enough water, and I don’t mean tap water. I mean ice cold, directly from the refrigerator with ice added in for good measure water. And I don’t just use just any old glass; oh no, I put it in my filtered 24oz—aluminum Brita. You would think I was suffering from dehydration because I couldn’t seem to get enough. My body craves the ice-cold liquid sliding down my throat, cooling and refreshing everything it encounters. It wouldn’t be long before I refilled the Brita, starting the entire process again. Oh yes, if I am really thirsty, or if I am going to be away from home, I have a 64 oz jug I can use. Hah, pure heaven. I also have a history of kidney stones, so I need to drink a lot of water anyway. But that is beside the point.

The fourth Beatitude deals with those who thirst for God’s word. It’s about the hunger to do what is right in the eyes of the Creator. The issue, though, is this. Like the ice-water-filled Brita, it only temporarily quenches the thirst. We always need to come back for more.

In our busy lives, we seem to have trouble finding time to enjoy the nourishment of God’s word through the reading of scripture, prayer, or even just appreciating the beauty of what’s around us. Ignoring the needs of our souls leaves us hungry and feeling dissatisfied. Just as our bodies need the nourishment of water and food, our souls need to be able to take in everything that God has for us.

Before Jesus started his journey, he went into the wilderness. For forty days, he fasted; after those forty days with no food, he was approached by the tempter (Satan). First, the tempter told Jesus to turn the stone into bread if he was hungry. Jesus rebuked him by saying that man cannot live on bread alone but by the entire word of God. Satan then took Jesus to the highest mountain and told him to throw himself down, for surely the angels would save him since he is the Son of God. Once again, Jesus rebuked him, saying God should never intentionally be tested. Two more times, the devil tempted Jesus, and each time he was rebuked. Finally, the tempter left him, and Jesus walked out of the wilderness and began his ministry. (Jesus is tested in the wilderness Matthew 4:1-11)

Jesus, while he was in the wilderness, went through more than any man or woman could go through. Why did he feel he had to endure all the pain and suffering? Satan was right. He was the Son of God. He could have called upon his powers and put an end to all his suffering with just a single phrase, a phrase he used at the very end. Get away from me, Satan, and Satan would have left as he did after receiving the command. Jesus knew that the testing he went through in the wilderness was nothing compared to where this journey would lead him. The pain and suffering leading to his death on the cross he went through so that the ones who followed him would not have to go through it.

While Jesus was in the wilderness, scripture says that he wasn’t alone; he had the angels with him to support him, to keep supplying him with the nourishment that the Son of God so desperately needed to overcome all he would go through. In human form, he had the same emotions, felt the same pain, and needed the same nourishment of the soul that the very people he came to save required. Christ knew that as a man, he could not overcome the desires that Satan was trying to hand over to him. Jesus knew that he had to be in constant contact through prayer with his Father to help him overcome what was to come his way.

If God wanted us to go through the struggles of life alone, he would not have allowed his Son to go through all the pain and suffering. He freely gives all the nourishment he gave his Son; to us. We must come to him and voluntarily accept all he has to offer, giving up our selfish pride and falling on our knees, asking Him to protect us with the whole armor of his love. And to nourish us with the sweet sound of the angels watching over us.

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Finished just in time, my Brita is empty!

May the LORD bless you, keep you, and give you strength as you journey through this thing called life!

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