Sometimes my best moments with the Bible are not when I heartily agree with it. Sometimes its when I disagree. That happened earlier this week. I awoke in the fog of sleepiness and the darkness of the morning to the aches in my heart. My life is in such transition right now. There are so many unknowns, so much that I am waiting on. And all of the unknowns can surface all of my longings. I just awoke that morning longing for more, more intimacy, more life, more adventure, more love, more beauty, more connection, more passion. Just more.
I picked up the Bible as I do each morning and read this: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) I just couldn’t believe Jesus here. If his words are true, why do I still feel so hungry, so thirsty? What do I do with these longings besides stuff them or trivialize them with idols? I didn’t have an answer, but I have learned to just stay here when this happens. Something important is coming. And that morning it came.
It came first by looking at the text again. I remembered enough of my Greek studies to know that the present tense used in “comes” and “believes” has the connotation of continuing to do something. It struck me that the coming is not just for one time, nor is the believing. It’s repeated. Again. And again. And again.
The answer to my longings then is not to have them immediately filled by something that douses the fire. The answer is the coming. The answer is the believing. What Jesus wants to give me is not just a gift to assuage the desire for a moment. What he wants is to give me is himself. Again. And again. And again. And his giving doesn’t mean that the hunger or thirst is gone forever. Just as the Israelites received the manna daily in the wilderness, so I will receive what I need daily.
But there was a second important moment. I took all this to Jesus, my longings, my struggle to believe. And sometimes his most profound words to me are not statements, but questions. I started my dialogue with him that morning with questions. He answered back with a question. It happened in the ride to school that morning. It was simply this: “Am I enough?”
And in the question was the answer.