Tuesday, May 29, 2012

After 40 days and nights in the desert, He was hungry.

I am writing this blog after having just completed my own 40 week period in the spiritual wilderness. It's been just over 40 weeks since my entire life collapsed around me and I found myself at absolute complete and utter rock bottom. You know you've sunk as low as you can go when you feel as if you have to look up to see the ground. I received some powerful revelations during August last year when all of this happened, and I've continued to persevere with working through what was shown to me at that time in order to start developing a strength and character I've simply never had before. It's taken just over 40 weeks to do this.

Towards the end of this journey, I began to think of the scripture Matthew 4:2 - "After fasting 40 days and 40 nights, He was hungry." We continually hear a lot about trials as to how you need to persevere right through to the end of them and make sure you face what God wants you to face in that time, which of course is very true. However, there is another side to this story which you don't hear as often which is what I want to delve into here. Jesus was hungry when he came out of the desert. He'd been fasting 40 days and 40 nights. They could easily have left the fact that He was hungry out of the equation as most would simply assume anyone would be hungry after that long (Who wouldn't be?!) yet I believe there is a spiritual significance as to why it has been added into scripture.

When you've experienced trials as significantly as what I have over the years (and some of them have been brutal, to say the least) you almost begin to develop a siege mentality where you kind of want yourself to feel perfect and you expect that God's not going to let you out of the place of testing until you are absolutely perfect in every way, with every single need fulfilled, not even slightly tired or fatigued, completely at peace with everything in your life. I've developed this mentality a lot over the years due to everything that I've had to face (burnout, stomach ulcers, horrible working environments, and the list goes on) and this particular scripture is the one that has challenged my thinking recently.

When Jesus came out of the desert, He was hungry. He was the Son of God, spotless and without sin, able to endure anything set before Him, yet He was hungry. The bible doesn't say "After 40 days and 40 nights of fasting in the desert, Jesus emerged, but because He was such a spiritual powerhouse He didn't have any need for food or nourishment as He'd found it all in the desert, so He could start eating again whenever He wanted to but there was no desperate need for it." The bible says - He was hungry. I'll be willing to bet that the very first thing He did was go and find some food.

I'm learning that it's ok to be "hungry" so to speak after enduring trials. Hungry for things to get better, hungry for the favor of God at last, hungry to see the rainbow finally starting to emerge after the relentless storm. I am in a place of deep hunger at the moment after enduring a relentless season of trials and suffering, brought on through no fault of my own. To be honest I am not sure if I am completely ready to be "fed" yet, but I am very close. Though I am in a place of much deeper clarity and strength than ever before, I also cannot deny my weariness at having to endure so much over the years and my longing for the promised land which arrives once the wilderness season has been completed.

Being hungry isn't a bad thing and just because you are hungry for blessing after a season of wilderness does not mean that you haven't suffered and learned enough in the desert season. It simply means that you are human and it's quite natural. I believe God understands that. The world would die if there was just winter at all times. Yes the winter does serve its purpose - but for a season. It's not uncommon for people to begin to get sick of the cold and snow (depending on where you are) near the end of winter and yearn for the days of spring to approach. And that's where I am now. Although I can appreciate the winter, I am also looking forward to the spring very much. Which is completely natural.

So if you are reading this and are feeling how much you've changed during the winter season, but are looking forward to the spring, you're not alone. It's ok to be hungry after fasting from blessing in the desert for so long. God sees that and He understands, and He will bless you and fill your hunger once the time is right.

Take care.

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