Psalm 33:16-22 Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—for all its strength, it cannot save you. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine . . . Lord, our hope is in you alone.
Times of famine . . . Karis lived with hunger, not because there was not food available, but because her body couldn’t handle eating. Her words express better than mine can the hope in the Lord alone that hunger generated in her. These are selections from her journals that don’t appear in All I See Is Grace.
Mar 4, 2003 My friends want me to be healed; to be freed from suffering. I want—not exactly that. I want to understand, to see what you see—and purpose—in my suffering. I die daily. I cannot bear the hunger. I don’t believe I was created to die of hunger.
Jun 2, 2003 My hunger—physical hunger—seems unshakeable.
Dec 2003 I loved the day, despite the pain and hunger and weariness.
Jan 6, 2004 Give me what I need for this day, Lord. I come fainting from hunger and hoping for daily bread. Teach me, Lord, what trusting You “alone” means, more richly. Don’t lead me into despair. But also don’t let me skim this valley. I acknowledge my hunger before You. Lord, I am afraid. I am vulnerable. Make me strong; guard my heart and mind, fight for this my only Earthly body. If only You would come quickly! If only I could leave this place—
But not without first it leaving what mark on me You would will it leave. Even if I limp for the rest of my life like Jacob, let me be Israel—the one You chose to wrestle with till morning, to birth Your nation, to carry Your dreams and promises, through whom You blessed the peoples.
Sep 2006 The hunger I experienced in 2005 has marked me. I have an anxiety which testifies hourly to the need for physical bread. “Man shall not live by bread alone . . .” but what of that? Can the soul truly function within a starving body?
Jun 19, 2008 Last night something diminished my angst. I admitted, finally, that this missing bit in my brain caused by opioids was not going away anytime soon; nor the hunger; nor the pain; nor the discomfort. That I had to direct all those longings as a reminder toward a deeper hunger: my hunger for You, Lord. I have to direct it into prayer. Not prayer of complaint, but rather of enduring desire. Remind me of this again and again until I have trained my body and my thoughts to this freedom.
Jan 4, 2011 Have I looked more to my happiness than to others’ interests in my time with You, Father? Have I valued anything more than You—be it warmth or avoidance of pain or cold or hunger, be it a particular person or habit? Show me clearly, that I might change. Purge my habits, Lord.
Lord, teach me, too, to rely fully on your unchanging love. Give us this day our daily bread: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and relationally. Take the bread you give us and multiply it to feed others.