IMG_1000 by you.

“Hunger has made us burn with fever until our skin is as hot as an oven.” (Lamentations 5:10)

This is the first moon of the new year, called by the Native Americans, the “Wolf Moon.”  They named all of the new moons of the year, and called the first new moon of January the “Wolf Moon” because in the still crisp air of the winter night the howling of the hungry wolves carried easily through the barren trees.  Somehow I get the feeling that hearing hungry wolves howling not too far in the distance was not a comforting feeling.  In fact, it probably was a reminder of the danger the tribal members might encounter in the woods when “hunger” in the form of a pack of powerful wolves was stalking their camp.

Hunger is dangerous, not only when it attacks from the outside in the form of a snarling wolf, but also when it attacks from the inside in physical, emotional, and spiritual manifestations.  The biblical writer is right, hunger of any kind can make us “burn with fever,” leaving us in such a vulnerable state that we are capable of doing things that might be considered “against our nature.”  Physically hungry people are capable of stealing if they think it will fill their bellies.  Emotionally hungry people are capable of striking out at others or getting lost in affairs if they think it will fill their hearts.  Spiritually hungry people are capable of indulging in all sorts of destructive behaviors if they think it will fill their souls.

Alcoholics Anonymous helps lots of folks by using teaching acronyms.  One such teaching tool is, “H.A.L.T.,” which stands for “Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.”  The lesson is that all of us (not just those recovering from alcoholism) need to pay particular attention to when we are feeling, hungry, angry, lonely, or tired, because these emotions can cause us to “burn with fever” and become vulnerable to filling whatever hunger we might be feeling with our favorite destructive behaviors.

Our hope for avoiding destruction comes in two ways.  First, we need to fill our stomachs, hearts, and souls with a regular diet of healthy “food.”  This will go a long way toward helping us avoid “uncontrollable hunger.”  Second we need to pay careful attention to occasions when we might feel “hungry” so we don’t become vulnerable to indulging ourselves with unhealthy “foods” or behaviors.    When we do feel particularly “hungry” we need to remove ourselves from potentially unhealthy environments and seek the help of our supportive friends and our God.  I pray that God will help me stay on a healthy diet of his Word and Way so I avoid the destructive power of “uncontrollable hunger.”  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Sand Hill United Methodist Church
Boaz, West Virginia

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~ by revgenelson on February 4, 2010.

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