Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. - Matthew 4:17
Every person gets hungry and thirsty. Some know those feelings all too well, and some have never felt the pain of them. Nonetheless, it’s a common denominator we all share as frail human beings - we need to be filled!
It’s also a more fundamental question we ask as we grow older. What will we choose in this life to help us feel full? Will it be meeting our basic needs? Will it be those stereotypical markers of material wealth? Will it be how many friends we have? Whether or not we stay married or how well our kids turn out? Are the answers to these questions what determine whether we feel full or not.
It’s pretty unavoidable; we all want to feel fulfilled. But the way we approach getting full is often dependent on what we’ve learned works for those who came before us. For many, it’s what they saw they saw their parents pursue, or the friends the valued as they grew up. For others, it’s something they learned from a political party, pop culture or from the religious background they came from. There are endless sources that would like to tell us how we can get full.
Jesus communicates that it is the person who is hungry and thirsty to live right that will find fulfillment. I don’t necessarily want to go down the path of determining the 7 steps for how to live right for the context of this article. What I’d like to acknowledge is what Jesus acknowledges.
The filled person will be one who is determined to engage the process of trying to do right. It’s about their motivation and not even necessarily about whether or not they are actually getting it right every time.
I’ve been living life alongside a community of people for more than 12 years now. And not a seeing each other once or twice a week kind of situation. We have lived, worked and raised our families right alongside each other. I’d be foolish to think that all these years, we’ve made all the right decisions about how to live life, about how to please the LORD, about how to be righteous.
But here’s what I love. In the words of a mandate often applied to athletes, we trust the process. We are committed to hungering and thirsting after righteousness. And we trust God that he will fill us. Certainly we have seasons and circumstances that seem to affect our appetite and give us the metaphorical stomach bug, but we recover and keeping hungering.
In the same way that we will always get hungry and thirsty, the nagging to be fulfilled will never leave us. It’s a matter of what we do about it. And so it’s my encouragement to you to commit yourself to doing right in every small situation and see what kind of fulfilling journey Jesus takes you on. The memories of the last 12 years are precious to me and I can only attribute them to God drawing near to me and my friends as we did our best to do right for him.