Hungry for more.
Disclaimer — This post is not for everyone. It is perhaps one of my ‘selfish posts’ — a memoir I’d like to come back to read as many times as I can. However, if you are in this place in your life, it will bless you.
March 2014 was a remarkably difficult time for me at work. I was barely 7 months into my first job and it was going south as far I was concerned. In the middle of a very uncertain time in the office — high staff turnover, a generally despondent work atmosphere, my boss decided it was a good idea to shuffle me around the different departments. Having to report to different supervisors every month and the uncertainty of remaining in that company made me anxious. You may wonder why I’m particular about this time of my life — why look back ? Because only looking back can I see how pregnant that period was, what was to be birthed by that experience. Let me not get ahead of myself here — I will break this down.
Difficult times did not make their debut in my life in March, I sure had experienced a handful of those but this was different in every way. Right after NYSC (one year of mandatory youth service), where I had a wonderful time teaching out my heart, I took the first job offer I got. While I was excited about the job role, I was far from excited about the pay. But the pay did not bother me really, it was the events that had began to unfold — leaving me offended and offensive. I was fast losing my enthusiasm and passion and if you know anything about me, these are my middle names. Retrospectively, I realize I was simply hungry and the painful experiences only highlighted this hunger. You see, when you observe that almost everything going on around you conflicts with what you once dreamed off, and you are not living up to what you know is in you, it does something on the inside of you — it creates hunger. I was hungry for more and hunger in itself is good. I will get back to my story and how it eventually turned out but let me explain this hunger.
Hunger in any form is a humbling experience — its a feeling that makes you look out for something that is not within you to satisfy a need/desire within you. When you are hungry, a lot of what excites you does not cut it anymore until that desire is fulfilled. Physical or spiritual hunger are precious gifts — I don’t want to imagine a life where I never get hungry for food (cause I won’t eat); in the same way I don’t want a life where there is no hunger for certain experiences.A lot of how our lives turn out depends on what we choose to satisfy the hunger within us. First, we must embrace this hunger.
So what do we do with spiritual hunger?Even with hunger for certain things that may sound mundane? — take the hunger to God in prayer. You will be amazed at what desires God has put in you for certain things just because of what He wants to accomplish in and through you. Don’t dismiss your hunger — pay attention to it, it serves a purpose. I saw this verse below in another light:
“ So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”- Deut.8:3 (NKJV). This verse tells me a number of things:
- God LET us go hungry — are you feeling dissatisfied? is there this nudging or burden in your heart for something different? constantly anxious about the future? are you tired of same ol’ same ol’? regularly offended by your circumstances? These are signs that there is something more that God wants to bring you into. Don’t just shrug it off as ‘boredom’ or try to use entertainment to ‘let go’ of the burden.
- The hunger should lead you to Him — the logical response to hunger might be to go about getting what looks like the answer BUT take the hunger to God first. Pray about everything — including this hunger you cannot explain. This hunger serves a purpose. You know the word “Manna” was what the Israelites named what God provided for them for physical food in the wilderness. It literally is an expression of amazement meaning “what is it?!”. God wants to do amazing things in our lives that will cause men to marvel, things that have not been heard of, things your predecessors know nothing of. How can He get us to receive this if He doesn’t let us hunger for certain things?
- The hunger will be satisfied with His word — I hear that physically pregnant women eat more and begin to crave certain kind of foods. Likewise, you are pregnant with something that needs to be fed the word of God. Spending more time in the word during this period is important. When the word from God is gotten, then you can pray effectively about it and birth in the place of prayer. If you spend enough time in the word, you will come to a place where it satisfies your hunger even before anything happens on the outside. Then, you will realize that it is not things that satisfy but the word. And off-course, the appearance of things will follow.
You know, Hannah’s story in the bible is an inspiration to me. She was childless and hungry for a child — the painful experience from Peninnah and her children only highlighted this hunger. When she finally took this hunger to God in prayer, she got a word from God and entered into God’s agenda for Israel — to birth one of the greatest prophets, Samuel, who not only led the nation of Israel prior to their monarch system of government but was used by God to anoint the first and second kings of Israel. Her hunger for a child brought Samuel.
Back to my story. As a result of these challenges at work, I was very frustrated at a lot of things. At one point in this period of my life, the only thing that encouraged me was what was taught every Wednesday evening in church (thanks to Pastor Poju Oyemade of Covenant Christian Centre). He started to teach on a series of things that spoke directly to my experiences. I ate those messages like an impoverished child eats the first bite of food from a caregiver. I did not exactly know what what experiences I was craving. I only knew that I was so hungry.
It would not be until early 2015 that I retrospectively realized that my experiences in 2015 (moving to Canada for my masters and experiencing some amazing testimonies) was birthed by that hunger and thank God for shepherds he sent to feed me with the right word for that season. Much more, he guided me into how to meditate, declare the word of God and pray in the spirit.
The importance of praying in the spirit cannot be over-emphasized in satisfying this hunger. I have prayed in understanding for specific things I thought will satisfy my hunger (like a new job in another company because I desperately wanted to leave where I was working). Well, that did not work out. Offcourse, I was in error, I had wanted to leave my job for the wrong reasons — out of offence and resentment. God’s word in Isaiah 55:12 settled this and changed my mind on how I should leave any organization . It says:
“ For you shall go out with joy,
And be led out with peace;
The mountains and the hills
Shall break forth into singing before you,
And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12 (NKJV))
I learned the way God wanted me to leave; not offended, not bitter, not angry or resentful, but joyfully and celebrated unto something greater.
Starting in April 2014, I got a new attitude at work, I was determined to stay in the word, be joyful and faithful at it. Not long after, I got drafted into different projects I really enjoyed doing which gave me a strong foundation for my career and brought me before game changers. I got a salary raise — twice in the space of 5 months. Just as Isaiah 55:12 says, I left my workplace for my masters well celebrated by my boss and still have a good relationship with her ( I am now more thankful to God for bringing her into my life — it was a prophetic time indeed).
I need to keep this testimony forever in my heart especially the truth that I learned concerning this. I need to remember this much more now because I am hungry again.