Have you ever stopped to consider just how emotionally "starved" we are as a society? In most relationships, there is such a tremendous amount of emotional "hunger" which goes totally unmet because we don't take the time to meet the need, we fail to recognize the need exists, or we just simply spend more time looking at our own need. Starvation is simply the feeling of a strong need or desire. When our emotional needs go unmet long enough, we begin to feel a little "starved". Sometimes we use other means to satisfy a genuine emotional hunger than what will really satisfy the hunger. It may be we turn to the pursuit of some pleasure - but the pleasure only lasts for a while and then we are back to the hunger again. It may be we pursue something we can possess - such as a new car, new home, or the like - but in time, the "newness" and pleasure produced in the acquisition just leaves us all hungry again. No pursuit of pleasure, possession or even profession can help really satisfy the hunger emotionally - it just dulls it for a season. In just a short course of time, we go from being "emotionally high" to being on the "emotional low" all over again. We need to figure out what really satisfies the hunger within and then get after that, not just flit from this or that pursuit with the "hope" it might meet our emotional hunger.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled. (Matthew 5:6 NIV)
It should come as no surprise to you that your hunger and thirst, two very powerful "motivators" within, were actually created by God. It was not by accident we were given these "emotional drivers" - they are to serve a purpose. There is physical hunger and thirst, which motivates us to seek out food and drink - in order to replenish our physical bodies. There is emotional hunger, which motivates us to reach out to another. There is spiritual hunger, which motivates us toward worship, praise and prayer. All types of hunger exist - as do all types of thirst. Two motivators - multiple reasons for them. What trips us more often than not is not recognizing the "type" of hunger or thirst we are experiencing. When we fail to recognize what is really making us hungry, we pursue the wrong stuff to "fill us up"!
When God created hunger and thirst, he had in mind the "increasing of capacity". Hunger and thirst take us from an "empty" status toward a "full" status, don't they? These two motivators are then designed to increase our capacity for "more". This is what makes these two motivators so dangerous - especially when we don't get them figured out very well and pursue the wrong kind of stuff to fill us up! As we well know, satisfaction is sometimes just beyond our reach. Now, for some of us, we think this is a little cruel. After all, why would God create us with emotional motivators like this which are just outside of our reach in getting them fulfilled. Maybe it is to cause our capacity to be increased! Did you ever stop to think about it that way before? When we attempt to satisfy those emotional desires with something which will "be a close second" to what we really desire and need, it never increases our capacity - in fact, it diminishes it! Whatever doesn't drive us to increase will eventually cause us to shrink in our capacity!
Anytime we "settle" for something outside of God's best for us, we are falling just short of the thing he has prepared specifically for us. Let that one settle in a little, friends. We "settle" in life a lot - spiritually, emotionally, and physically. In relationships, in life-choices, and in investment of the things we value the most like time, talent and our treasures. It is this idea of "settling" which brings "second-best" into view. I don't know about you, but I had to get to a place where I was thoroughly disgusted with "second-best" in my life! In reaching that spot, God was able to take the desires of hunger and thirst to a new level. It is often just barely out of reach until we begin to resist the urge to satisfy our hunger and thirst with anything short of what God has in store for us.
Satisfying our hunger and thirst with anything less than what God intends causes us such emotional upheaval, does it not? Why do we still pursue these things? Maybe because we just haven't developed a "trust" in the purpose for our hunger and thirst. We don't "trust" the hunger and thirst to drive us toward the right stuff - so we settle for what we figure will be a good substitute. Anything less than God's best for us will always be a poor substitute - as hard as we try, nothing quite satisfies like the things he has prepared ahead of time for us. All he is waiting for in bringing those things into our lives is for our capacity to be increased a little. Instead of getting the "quick fix" the next time, maybe we'd do well to ask God to give us the capacity to handle what he has prepared for us! Just sayin!