It’s not every day you read a book that’s so easy to read or pertinent to the times. It’s not every day you meet an author whose personality resonates joy and hospitality, and is passionate in their pursuit to know and love God.
It’s not every day you get both.
Every time I sit down to read one of Margaret’s books, it is like she’s in the room with me and we’re having a conversation about life, love, food, relationships, and the Divine. Her language is simple, yet captivating. Her tone is pleasant, yet direct and challenging.
What does it mean to hunger for God?
I don’t know real hunger. I’m blessed beyond measure. My cabinets and pantry overflow with consumable goods. I cannot fathom the reality of so many who wake up hungry, their stomachs aching for food, and go to bed more hungry than when the day began.
Hunger reminds us that in order to have strength, we must have sustenance. When we are physically hungry, we search for food. When we are spiritually hungry, as Margaret suggests, we should seek our Creator. Our physical hunger aches can be temporarily relieved, but the hunger (relationship) between us and God should never be quenched. Rather, we should never stop growing, discovering or developing in our pursuit to know and love God.
.001 An Incredible Invitation
In Hungry For God, readers are led to listen for God’s whispers instead of loud blasts or trumpeting horns. God is real, active and engaged, but if I’m focused on the excessive noise of life or pageantry of impressing God, I’m likely to miss his whispers. I don’t need to be flamboyant to impress God, I just need to be me and genuinely seek him.
Mystery and marvel abound in Hungry For God. We don’t know when or how God speaks, but it’s transforming IF we’re willing to listen.
Imagine whispering to someone across the room. Impossible, right? Imagine trying to hear God’s whispers amongst the noise and busyness of life. If your connection to God is more like a long-distance relationship, His whispers won’t be heard.
.002 Kairos Moments
Kairos means quality over quantity. If time is a gift and meant to be savored, Feinberg inspires readers to redirect their focus, challenge their attitude, and encourage forgiveness in order for God to light the dark times and remind them they’re never alone.
Kairos Moments call us to do things and be people we would not otherwise do and be. They mark our lives by changing our perspective. Though I long for fireworks displays of God’s power and thunderous demonstrations of his presence, Kairos Moments often appear in the mundane details of everyday life. Jesus used our hair to remind us of God’s intimate knowledge of us, the lilies of the field to teach of provision, and the birds of the air to instruct us in his love.
.003 Shaped by God’s Voice
While reading Hungry For God, I was intentional about staying focused on the material. I did well until I got to the third chapter. Margaret describes a pastor who welcomes a homeless man into his church and the stench of the man is unbearable. Then, she explains a local church she often visits in Colorado, named the Scum of the Earth Church, where all welcome – the pierced, the tattooed, the Goths, the homeless, the addicts. I couldn’t help but think of the times an unpleasant odor or difficult situation has caused me to turn away from a divine opportunity. It was in these times, Margaret says, that God whisperes,
This is the smell of the world I died for.
How can you NOT be impacted by this simple, yet profound, statement?
I already have a new perspective for my mission trip to Haiti this summer. I know my comfort levels will be tested. I know I will be exhausted physically, mentally and spiritually, but I will certainly remember this:
It’s not about me.
God tucks himself into life experiences and reminds us to look for him in the everyday. When we look for God, we are hungry for God. This hunger requires us to seek him. In seeking Him, we please Him. When we please God, we strengthen our relationship.
The search for God is not about the location or even the destination. Rather, seeking God (hungering for Him) increases our dependence on him and deepens our relationship with the Divine. Seeking God is as unique as the individual, but the most important factor for all of us is CONSISTENCY.
.005 The Language of God
In Hungry For God, Feinberg describes 11 languages of God, including: Scripture, Liturgy, Visions and Dreams, Journaling, Counsel, Media, and Nature.
How does God get your attention? Which language stirs your heart and hunger to know God more?
For me, I feel God’s omnipresence most when I’m experiencing a liturgical church service and journaling. All filters are removed when I’m putting my deepest, most personal thoughts on paper.
.006 Have You Heard?
As humans, we all experience stumbling blocks and missteps. In our quest for a deeper relationship, we cannot be discouraged or stop hungering for God. In this chapter, Margaret explains some of her own missteps that, in my opinion, make her even more honest and approachable.
In the midst of failure and disappointment, we must continue to hunger for the One that reminds we are never alone. Life lessons and God Whispers are available to those that have their eyes, ears, and heart open to the opportunity.
Once again, Margaret Feinberg challenges her readers’ daily schedule and priorities by asking difficult questions:
Where is God in the mundane and miniscule? Where is your focus? Where do you spend time? Have you lost your way? Have you replaced God’s plan with the world’s plan? Are you hungry for God?
Just as Margaret shared in Hungry For God, and said these words to me during our brief meeting, I extend this heartful prayer: