In the Office: Got Hunger?

Today’s Old Testament lesson (Proverbs 27:1-12) takes us to the Book of Proverbs; which, I must confess, is not among my favorite parts of the Bible. It’s not that I don’t appreciate the concise and “free-floating” nuggets of wisdom; it’s just that I prefer the context and “rootedness” that comes in narratives and letters and other types of literature. Having said that, there are times when a proverb reaches out and grabs my attention, and this morning is one of those times. Among the observations offered today, we find this:

One who is full loathes honey from the comb,
    but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet. (27:7)

Now, the meaning of this statement is clear enough. When you’ve already eaten your fill, even a delicious dessert has little appeal. But when you’re genuinely hungry, even a less desirable dish can seem like a feast fit for a king.

In the OfficeBut suppose we put this lesson in a specifically spiritual context. Isn’t it often true that if our hearts are already stuffed (and too often with all the wrong things — with worries and distractions and misplaced desires), even God’s richest blessings can be taken for granted (at best) and spurned (at worst); but if our souls are desperate for God’s presence, even life’s challenges can become occasions in which we encounter His goodness?

Jesus famously said: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) May we so hunger today that even our hardships become fresh opportunities to “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Psalm 34:8).

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