"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied."
When I was a kid, my favorite dinner was beef stroganoff.
I loved beef stroganoff! I slept beef stroganoff!
To me, there was no finer meal on the planet, except maybe for the turkey dinner at Thanksgiving. The reason that beef stroganoff was my favorite meal? The chef of course, my mom!
Her skills in the culinary arts were legendary. Now, some fifty odd years later, they have risen to mythical proportions. My mom made the best beef stroganoff in the universe!
Her secret? She made it with love!
I was raised in a home where I was loved. I was special. I could trust that all my needs and wants would be taken care of - all in the right time. I didn't have a care in the world, except - what was for supper!
I would bug my mom every week for beef stroganoff.: "Mom, what's for supper tonight?"
"I hope that it is beef stroganoff! Please, pretty please?"
I rally don't know if my constant nagging wore on my mother's nerves, because she never showed it if it did. Sometimes, the answer would be "yes". Other times it was, "no". She made it in her time. When she felt that it was the right time.
You're probably asking, "Why beef stroganoff? Why this particular meal? Why not fish sticks or chicken fingers with french fries, or any other kid-friendly meal?"
I don't know, but what I do remember is that having beef stroganoff, mom's way, FELT RIGHT. It brought comfort. It filled me up.
I remember coming home from school one day and there on the counter were the noodles, the mushroom soup, the sour cream, and the beef cooking in the skillet! The smell was intoxicating! With my mouth already watering, I blurted out, "ARE WE HAVING BEEF STROGANOFF?"
Mom turned around and with that big smile of hers, she said, "Yes!"
"Praise the Lord, my prayers have been answered," or something like that came from my slobbering mouth. All I needed now was for dad to come home.
Mom had a great track record. I could ALWAYS trust my mom to give me what I truly needed - from sneakers to spankings to beef stroganoff. She KNEW ME! She and dad had a part in my creation. Because of this, they knew me inside and out - just like YAWEH, my Creator. They knew what was right and what was wrong for me. They instilled in me a hunger for what was right - beef stroganoff! They also instilled in me an understanding of what was wrong - like eating snacks before dinner. But, most important, they instilled in me the longing, the starving for right living, right attitudes, everything that was right.
I'm left handed, but I'm "right minded". Again, because of their track record, I could TRUST them.
Our Lord and Savior, in today's Scripture, gives us a promise, a promise that will not be broken. As with my parents, when I was a kid, the same now with my Savior - "God said it, and that settles it!"
My parents would give to me out of their sense of what I really needed. They would give to my need, not my greed. The same with our Lord. The keys to our understanding this Scripture today comes from focusing on four words. They are:
As always, we will consult our friend - with the guidance of the Holy Spirit - the Greek. First, "hunger" in the Greek is "peinao" which means, "to be hungry, going hungry, literally starving".
Second, "thirst" in the Greek is "dipsao" which means, "am thirsty, parched".
Third, "righteousness" in the Greek is "dikaiosune" which means "wanting justice, that which is right." It comes from the word "dikaios" which means "to correct, or be innocent, rightness or right living, trusting in the right thing".
Finally, "satisfied" in the Greek is "chortazo" which means "to feed, to fatten, to be filled." The word is taken from the word "chortos" which means "a feeding place, a pasture with hay or grass, a place of fulfillment at the right time".
Let's put it all together:
I am trusting, having faith in my Creator, my Savior, my shepherd for everything - being starved and parched for His rightness, His justice, His making all things right.
Then - according to His Word, He will lead me to green pastures (Psalm 23) . . .
His feeding place, in His time, and I will feed and get fat on His goodness,
His rightness, His justice . . .
And, I will be filled!
That's a promise!
Mom didn't always make beef stroganoff, but always when I needed it, in her time. And, I was filled and satisfied.
Now, I'm hungry and thirsty (parched in a dry and thirsty land) for God's rightness in me and in this world. I'm hungry and thirsty for wrongs to be made right. I'm hungry and thirsty for crooked ways to be made straight. I long for green pastures. I've been given this attitude - passed onto me by His Spirit, just as mom passed to me my love for beef stroganoff. I've been given His promise that this will be done . . . in His time . . . and I will be truly satisfied. If I look in my spirit, as I look at the times in which we live, I see meat, mushroom soup, noodles, sour cream . . .
The thought of this fills me up!
Beef stroganoff, anyone?
How do you read? What do you think?