Thursday, May 19, 2011

Margaret Feinberg's Latest Book

One of my favorite authors of Christian devotionals is Margaret Feinberg. The books go a bit further than most devotionals. They are not feel good stories, although you do feel better after reading them. They are not the cutesy stories that you would expect from "Chicken Book for the Soul." Her books lead us into a discovery of God working in our lives, here and now. She is an awesome story teller and she writes like you are talking to a friend.

I have read three of her past books: Organic God, The Sacred Echo and Scouting the Divine. They were all great reads. The way you know that I enjoyed the book is that I lend them out and give them as gifts. The elders at one church I worked each received a copy of The Sacred Echo. They enjoyed it so much that many of them bought her other books.

Her latest book, Hungry for God, is being released this week. Margaret sent me an email with an excerpt from the book. I liked it so much I felt led to share it. I have a new item added to my wish list from Amazon: Hungry for God!

What Does it Mean to Hunger for God? (An adaptation from Hungry for God by Margaret Feinberg)

I don’t know anything about real hunger. While billions suffer in starvation and poverty, I live behind the plush curtain. Yet hunger is woven into the fabric of our humanness—no matter where you live. Appetite is a primitive desire that doesn’t discriminate. Every human has felt its pangs. Without an appetite, we slip into starvation and even death. Hunger is the gnawing reminder that in order to have strength, we must have sustenance.

If physical hunger is a set of feelings focused around the stomach that lead a person to search for food, then spiritual hunger is a set of experiences or longings that compel a person to search for God. Just as my body needs food to survive, my spirit needs God to thrive. A divine appetite drives me to pursue a vibrant relationship with God—one in which I find my sustenance and strength.

Unlike physical hunger, which can be satiated by food, our spiritual appetites can only be quelled by God. But is it possible to dine on an intangible being? How do we feast upon something we cannot see, touch, or taste? Over the last several years, I’ve learned that God’s voice is the only entrĂ©e that can nourish our ethereal cravings. Hearing and experiencing, rather than eating, assuages spiritual hunger.

The moments in my life when I’ve been the most spiritually hungry and the most spiritually satiated share a common trait: God’s voice. My spiritual hunger grumbles loudest when I feel furthest from God. Though I cling to the mental assertion that God is everywhere and he promises to never leave nor forsake, I’ve encountered days, weeks, and months, where I still wonder, Where are you, God?

I long for a single word to appease my spiritual belly. When God finally breaks the silence, the sound of his voice is spiritual nourishment, his voice a banquet for my soul—every syllable a tasty morsel, every expression flavored with love.

Longing to know him.
Longing to experience him.
Longing to hear him.
Is that what it means to hunger for God?

You can learn more about Hungry for God at Amazon. Become a follower of Margaret Feinberg on Twitter and become a Fan on Facebook.

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