When You Can’t Satiate Your inner Hunger and Start to Feel Just a Little Bit Stuck

When You Can’t Satiate Your inner Hunger and Start to Feel Just a Little Bit Stuck

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“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis

January rolled in almost unnoticed, snow pressing hemlock boughs low. I gaze out the window, at blackness interrupted only by a hazy white moon, shadowed with wisps of gray that pass like my cares.  I’m alone at last, and the house is silent.  The white noise machine hums spring rain showers through the monitor, and the youngest child coughs.

I’m beyond weary. I’m poured out.  Fully given.  I’m unsatisfied, hungry, and longing for something I can’t even name.

I walk to the cupboard and stare at cans of peas and corn, stuffing mix, cereal boxes, and oatmeal. I know I don’t need food, but the craving in me is gnawing hard.  I grab a container of cookies and return thoughtlessly to the couch, eating without thinking, just trying to satiate the craving in the deepest part of me.

I don’t know how many I’ve eaten when I decide I should stop. I’m feeling gluttonous, and guilt settles in.  I’m sorry, not so much because I’ve turned a cold cheek to the God who wants to meet with me, but because I fear my jeans won’t fit in four days.  They’re already too tight.

When I’m real about it, I know the hunger in the pit of my abdomen isn’t at all about food. It’s the deep desire to commune with God in a way that satisfies my desperate soul.  But God doesn’t feel tangible enough most nights, and I choose food instead.  It’s the escapist behavior to which I always seem to turn.

Most of us have one: something we do to satisfy us when what we’re actually craving is an encounter with the God of the universe. I’ve had many.  From the parties I went to every weekend in college, to the perfectionism I tried to produce throughout my teaching career, I hoped those things might satisfy.  They did for a bit.  But the next day, I generally felt empty and washed out.

Let’s get real about this today. Where do you turn when you feel empty and long to be filled?  Is it entertainment, Facebook, food, wine, relationships, work, control, or some other seemingly innocent cure that will never actually cure you?

We are only satisfied when we encounter the relentless love of God the Father.  C.S. Lewis was right about making mud pies when a holiday at sea is offered. It is only through encounters with his love that our souls begin to find the satisfaction we so desperately crave.

This all sounds lovely, but I need something practical at the end of long days. Here are three ways to turn to God and find the satisfaction you crave:

Pursue one of your creative passions, keeping your eyes and thoughts on the Lord while you work. Whether you love to paint, hike, write, knit, bake, or walk your dog, make time for the activities you love. Thank God while you pursue them. Enjoy yourself without feeling guilty for what you’re not doing.  God gives us creative passions for his glory, but too many of us put our passions on the shelf because they seem to be unspiritual or they don’t fit into our lives.  Make time to pursue your passions, and pursue them with a thankful heart.

Plan a diversion from your normal schedule. Plan a weekend trip to a cabin with your husband, a family trip to a hotel with a swimming pool, or a long walk in the woods on a Saturday afternoon. The key here is to create a break in the normal routine and provide an opportunity that you can look forward to. While this might feel unspiritual in some way, the Lord is pleased when we set aside time to enjoy his gifts.

For one week, fast from the activity that you most often turn to for comfort. Just one week. Instead of eating, watching TV, or spending hours on social media, use this time to direct your passions to the Lord. One purpose for fasting is to shape our passions.  When we succumb to unhealthy passions, we allow those passions to rule us.  For one week, fast from your unhealthy passion and replace it with something that fuels your passion for Christ.  Read a challenging Christian book, spend time in God’s Word, worship in song, start a gratitude scrapbook or journal, find a prayer guide and walk through several guided prayer steps, or opt for a Christian movie instead of primetime television.


Regardless of where these words find you today, may you rest in the truth that the Lord is not condemning you for the times you turn to worldly things to fill the emptiness within your soul. He is calling you and wooing you to draw close to him instead.  His promise is that when we draw close to him, he will draw close to us (James 4:8).  Let’s stand on this promise as we seek him in our hunger.




About Stacey Pardoe

Stacey Pardoe is a wife, mother of two young children, writer, Bible teacher, and mentor. She is most passionate about walking closely with Christ and sharing his love with a broken world. Find out more about her at her website.


  1. January in the northern hemisphere must really double down on those gnawing feelings!
    Like you, I knew I needed to focus on God. A LOT. Last weekend, I had the privilege of a one-day retreat at a Christian lodge. The owners provide a day of solitude, no charge. It was beyond lovely to spend hours with Jesus. No interruptions.
    I wholeheartedly support your suggestions in this post!

    • Stacey Pardoe says:

      Thanks for sharing, Linda. Again and again, I’m reminded to turn to him instead of anything this world offers, but it’s certainly an ongoing struggle . . .

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