Come to the Table: Hunger | The Speckled Goat: Come to the Table: Hunger


Come to the Table: Hunger

lent devotions short working mother Christian post devotion about Lent Matthew 4 devotion

"Welcome back!" I call out to the group of snow-covered, rosy cheeked adventurers as they burst through the doors of the lodge.

They're talking all at once, smiling broadly, replaying the excursion with breathless excitement and laughter.

Another successful tour.

And I realize that this is already the last tour of the day- and somehow nine hours have sped by with me barely noticing, the din of constant, steady phone calls and credit card payments and waiver forms keeping me too busy to sit, too busy to notice the dark creeping into the sky.

My husband comes in, smelling like snow and two-stroke exhaust, as I return the goggles to their boxes, the forms to their drawer.

"Come eat with me," he says, and I remember the lunch I packed nearly ten hours before, sitting neglected under my desk in the corner.

I'm not hungry. 

Two eggs at breakfast, a cup of coffee... and now nine hours later, I'm not hungry.

I'm busy, but not hungry.

The physical design of my body- hunger when I need food, tired when I need sleep, thirsty when I need water- has bowed to the demands of my circumstances without me even noticing, and I'm alarmed by it. My body's warning signs are missing, and without the carnal reminders of eat, sleep, drink, I forget.

The busyness has affected me physically. I'm not hungry, and if I wait to do what's good for me until I feel that hunger, I will get sick.

But my Trevor, he calls me over to the desk in the corner to join him and eat.

Jesus fasted alone in the desert except for the leading of the Spirit and the evil one prowling, stalking his every step.

Forty days without food.

I wonder what he was talking to the Father about in those forty days. I wonder what he was thinking. Was he going over the talking points of the Sermon on the Mount? Was he considering the difficulty, the pain, the rejection just ahead? Was he praying for us?

We don't know that, and maybe he'll tell us one day... but we do know that after all that, he was hungry.

And when he was hungry, Satan saw his opportunity.

"If you are the Son of God," he began.

If. What a loaded word. Satan asked the Holy One of Heaven to prove his identity- to show his power to cover his human weakness and need for physical food.

Fully human, fully God. Satan asked Christ Himself to chose his humanity over his divinity.

As I sit at the little desk in the corner with my husband in the lamp light, our knees touching as we finally eat our lunch with darkness all around, I'm still not hungry.

And I think about the other things I've lost hunger for.

I haven't called my mom in weeks- because life today is the same as life yesterday, just full of work and what would I tell her... and when do I have time to call?

My fingers fly over my keyboard only for taking reservations, only for sending e-mails to answer work questions, and my words are few and rehearsed and bring no creativity, no spark.

The red hardcover book on my dresser is filled with prayers from months ago, collecting a fine layer of dust. It gets bumped around in the night as I reach for my phone to check snow conditions, to answer texts from my co-workers.

I am choosing my identity.


If you are someone who matters, whispers the voice of ancient evil, If you are valuable, if you make a difference, prove yourself

He tempts me to choose the immediate over the lasting- this world over eternity.

It's working. I'm losing my hunger.

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" -Matthew 4:4

And I remember.

Just as Jesus chose to be both human and divine, I too get the gift of being both temporary and eternal.

One foot on this earth, the other in eternity. Straddling the center line of this cosmic reality that I don't deserve and did nothing to earn.

But it's oh so tempting to believe I exist to fill a quota or improve the bottom line or cross tasks off a to do list.

I just can't live on it. Not without losing the hunger- for physical food, for community, for relationship with God Himself.

With the forgiveness He extends to me, over and over, He calls me back to the table. 

And even though I've chosen the lesser, even though I've bowed to the noisiest, the immediate, even though I've neglected my unfathomable relationship with my Creator to instead focus on the created, He brings me near again.

This world that fills my schedule and my mind and my body cannot fill my soul.

I am not hungry. Too many days, too many weeks of doing rather than being have stripped me of my natural, God-given hunger, but even so, He calls me to come and eat of His goodness.

And because of His unending love, I come.

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  1. This is beautiful. I have heard this story of Jesus in the desert several times recently. It strikes me as a time of freedom for Him because He knows He will not succumb to the enemy. I love how you describe being between the temporary of now and eternity. Thank you for the clarity and truth in your words.

  2. You have a very refreshing writing style, especially for a faith-focused blog. I find the invitation to "come to the table" very powerful during this Lenten season, and the specific season in my life I'm at. I've been looking at what I desire, and DON'T desire. This is really helpful for me.