Many of us hear people talk of the starving children of Africa or the hungry children of the slums of an inner city but we must understand there is a difference. To starve is to die or to become weak through the lack of nourishment. Hunger however is a strong desire for something well known to an individual. If it is not known to you; you in turn can not hunger for it.
Living in a impoverished country it is not uncommon for children to be in starvation, malnourished or however you want to explain it. Bloated stomachs, discolored hair and skin, weak and stunted children knowing no other life; their lethargic bodies taking whatever the elements bring upon them. One in this state is not one to be hungry. If one meal a day is all you know than your body is adapted to that state. It is unaware of it need for nourishment. Often malnourished children have little or no appetite the desire is just not there. You can not desire the unknown, your body has gone so long without food that it has ceased to desire it.
Hunger on the other hand is a desire for what is known. Most north Americans can not go more than 4-6 hours without the urge to eat. It is a feeling that your body has put in place to keep you healthy. The more regular your eating habits the easier you will feel hungry.
This is what our lord was saying in Mathew 5:6 "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled" One that hungers after the things of God knows the things of God. When you long to read your bible is not when you have gone days without reading but when you read it several times a day and you neglect it one morning. You hunger after God's spirit when you know his daily presence and you grieve Him. You hunger for Him when you know Him so intimately that the moment you step away from Him you know that very instant.
Seeing such instant concern for the starving of this world I have to ask myself how many of God's children are starving? How many of us live outside His presence and neglect His word to the point were we no longer desire it, that we no longer feel the pain of our lack of nourishment?
How many of us are allowing our spiritual bodies to be carried by the ebb and flow of life? We are simply existing not thriving. And yet we are God's children, those called to live out His love to the nations. So how can we fulfill that calling if we ourselves have starved ourselves of His word of His presence of His love?