Life

I came that they may have life and may have it abundantly.

— St. John 10:10

If in the extreme of our exhaustion, there should come to us, as to Elijah when he slept in the desert, an angel to rouse us, and show us the waiting bread and water, how would we carry ourselves? Would we, in faint unwillingness to rise and eat, answer, “Lo, I am weary unto death! Let me be gathered to my fathers and be at rest!”? I should be loath to think that, if the enemy came roaring upon us, we would not, like the Red Cross Knight, stagger, heavy sword in nerveless arm, to meet him; but, in the feebleness of foiled effort, it wants yet more faith to rise and partake of the food that shall bring back more effort, more travail, more weariness. The true man trusts in a strength which is not his, and which he does not feel, does not even always desire. To trust in the strength of God in our weakness; to seek from him who is our life, as the natural, simple cure of all that is amiss with us; this is the victory that overcometh the world. To believe in God our strength in the face of all seeming denial, to believe in him out of the heart of weakness and unbelief, these are the broken steps up to the high fields where repose is but a form of strength, strength but a form of joy, joy but a form of love. “I am weak,” says the true soul, “but not so weak that I would not be strong; not so sleepy that I would not see the sun rise; not so lame but that I would walk! Thanks be to him who perfects strength in weakness, and gives to his beloved while they sleep!”

Commentary

by James House

God made man, and woke in him the hunger for righteousness; the Lord came to enlarge and rouse this hunger. The first and lasting effect of his words must be to make the hungering and thirsting long yet more...
It is a little strength that longs for more; it is infant righteousness that hungers after righteousness.
— George MacDonald, The Hope of the Gospel

 

God designed our bodies to have regular physical needs. When those needs go unmet for even short periods of time we become acutely aware of them. The lack of having food, drink, sleep, air, etc. quickly begins to affect our behavior. We are continuously dependent upon physical nourishment - and God has blessed us with a world that has the means of supplying those needs. Perhaps the obviousness of the need and the ready supply of the nourishment is why God designed the counterbalance of frequent need, in order to help us remember our continuous dependence upon him though the world seemingly provides for those needs "on its own".

Spiritual nourishment is also necessary, and the lack of it also affects our behavior, though less rapidly reaching such obvious acuteness. For most of us, recognition of the need can be a struggle, and for many of us, finding supply of the need can be a lengthy journey.

These spiritual needs cannot be met by the things obviously supplied by the earth. Nor can they be supplied simply through meditation and reflection.

"She had come nearly to the point of discovering that the soul is not capable of generating its own requirements, that it needs to be supplied from a well whose springs lie deeper than its own soil, in the infinite All, namely, upon which that soil rests. Happy they who have found that those springs have an outlet in their hearts—on the hill of prayer."
-
Thomas Wingfold, Curate

Jesus Christ is the Bread of Life, and supplier of Living Water. Receiving His words, through study of them - with a heart of obedience and application, is how we partake of spiritual nourishment.

Give us this day our daily bread - and help us open our hearts to receive it, that our souls may be strengthened to more nobly and perfectly fig