Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
Today, I am going to share something I read over the weekend by Ravi Zacharias, who recently went to be with the Lord. It is copied word for word from Day 4 of the YouVersion Bible plan ‘What has Jesus done for us?’ (Oklahoma Christian University). I pray that it will bless you as much as it did me.
“If we were to enumerate all our hungers, we might be surprised at how many legitimate hungers there are. The hunger for truth, the hunger for love, the hunger for knowledge, the hunger to belong, the hunger to express, the hunger for justice, the hunger of the imagination, the hunger of the mind and the hunger for significance. We could name more. Vast psychological theories have emerged in recognition of these hungers or needs. Here is the point. Some of our individual pursuits may meet some of these hungers. Education may bring knowledge. Romance may bring a sense of belonging. Accomplishments may bring significance. Wealth brings some things within reach.
The message of Jesus affirms that no one thing will meet all of these hungers. And furthermore, none can help us know whether the way we fulfil them is legitimate or illegitimate until we feed on the bread of life that Jesus offers. That nourishment defines the legitimacy of all else.
Not only do we remain unfulfilled when we pursue these hungers, but in their very pursuit comes a disorientation that misrepresents and misunderstands where the real satisfaction comes from. This is very important to know.
Jon Krakauer’s book ‘Into Thin Air’, relates the hazards that plagued the climbers in their expedition to Mount Everest during the Spring of 1996. That year, the attempt to reach the summit resulted in a great loss of life. Some circumstances were out of their control, but fundamental mistakes cost them dearly. And some of those were unfortunately made while still within the reach of solutions.
One of those whose life was lost was Andy Harris, one of the expedition leaders. Harris has stayed at the peak past the deadline that the leaders themselves had set. On his descent, he became in dire need for oxygen. Harris radioed his predicament to the base camp, telling them of his need and that he had come upon a cache of oxygen canisters left by other climbers, all empty. Those who had already passed by the canisters on their own return from the summit knew that they were not empty but full. Even as they pleaded with him on the radio to make use of them, it was to no avail. Already starved for oxygen, Harris continued to argue that the canisters were empty.
The problem was, that the lack of what he needed so disorientated his mind that though he was surrounded by the restoring supply, he continued to complain of its absence. The very thing that he held in his hand was absent in his brain and ravaged his capacity to recognise what he was clutching in his grasp.
What oxygen is to the body, the Bread of Life is to the soul. Without that bread, all other hungers will be improperly perceived. In fact, in like manner, the absence of that bread over a prolonged period makes the bread itself seem worthless. Life is meant to be lived with the fulfilment of the one need that defines all other means of fulfilment and the one that defines all other loves.”