Who Are You Hosting? / by Callie Burnett

It is natural for humans to hunger. We are always in need of something. We are designed for dependence. It’s why we reach in the fridge around noon for lunch. It’s why we join groups and clubs and teams. It’s why we read books. It’s why do much of what we do. We find that our bodies hunger for food, our minds hunger for knowledge, our souls hunger for true community. 

A few months ago, I found myself in one of my very familiar moments of anxiety after a surprising phone call that shook up my plans, shook up my peace, and shook all of my hopes out the jar that I shouldn’t have placed them in in the first place. I tried to stay afloat in the raging ocean of what-ifs that kept leaping and crashing over my head, desperately desiring me to drown. What-ifs came at me from every which way, clawing for my attention, each one growing louder and harsher as I sat there, paralyzed. 

In that moment, I internally cried out for help. It was truly the only thing that I knew how to do. I know how to swim in water, but, when I’m placed in a sea of worry, I sink like a rock. There’s no pretending that I can float. I cried out for my Savior to help me up to some solid ground, out of this storm. 

I heard one small sentence in return.

“Callie, who are you hosting?”

My soul rephrased this question: Who am I hosting? Who am I choosing to welcome into my house? Who am I choosing to feed? 

I began to realized that who I host, who I welcome into my house, and who I choose to feed shows me the hunger deep inside. The thing is that Anxiety is an insatiable guest. I cannot ever fill it’s stomach. It’s an empty pit that then starts to consume me. After sweetly entertaining it for a while, it becomes a ravaging beast that begins to feed on its host. It can never be satisfied. 

However, there is also another Guest I can choose to serve, to feed, to welcome into my home. His name is Jesus, and I find that when I feed him and serve him and give him all of my attention, all of my heart, and all of everything that I have, I find that I, in turn, am full. I might not have every answer that Anxiety desires to feast upon, but I somehow find peace in the fullness that comes only through the presence of God. When I feed the hunger for more of Jesus within me, I am reaching out to him as if I’ve fallen through the glassy surface of the water like Peter. He grabs my hand immediately, and I find that I’m transported to a living room resting at his feet, catching my breath, as his very presence satisfies every longing that I was trying to fill.

Just like eating a meal, hunger returns moments later (frustrating, I know). Seeking God's presence is a never ending journey, not only because he is endless and eternal, but also because his endless, eternal presence marks us like a handprint in concrete. We long for more because we were made for more. Hunger tells us that we are tapping into something extravagant- our deepest longings cannot be satisfied in the long run by things of this world, but we can get the sweetest taste of full satiation in Jesus Christ.

Instead of feeding what-ifs and inviting them to stay for after dinner coffee, don’t let them through the front door. Call on Jesus. He’ll be right there, knocking on the door. Make the choice to invite him in. Feed him. Let him feed you. Sit at his feet. Put the clocks away. The difference between Jesus and all of our other hungers is that Jesus, in return, satisfies US. He fills US. By choosing to host Jesus in your dining room, Hunger and Satisfaction dance the sweetest, eternal dance of delight that can only be found and enjoyed in him. This hunger for more of his presence is the only hunger that will not take and hold us under to the point of destruction. It will, however, take and hold us under until we are fully consumed by his love, his peace, and his joy. This is the best kind of consumption. 

Who we choose to host shows us what is most hungry inside of us. What is hungry within shows us what we serve, what we keep feeding.

Who are you hosting?