In my favorite book, A Little Princess, Frances Hudgson Burnett tells the story of a girl named Sara Crewe. While surrounded with wealth, Sara was like a princess. She did well in school, wore fancy clothes, was kind to everyone, loved the outcasts, and was pampered in every way.
Ravenous: (adj.) Extremely hungry, devouring or craving food in great quantities.
Because of her pampered life, Sara wondered if she could continue to be princess-like if her riches disappeared. She was determined to always be a princess on the inside, no matter what happened.
Then Sara’s father died just after losing his entire estate in an investment dealing, and she is left at the cruel mercy of the instructor at her boarding school -– no family, no money, and plenty of work.
In my favorite chapter, Sara finds herself hungry and running errands through the streets of London. She dreams of food with a feverish hunger and happens to find a four-penny piece on the ground outside of a baker shop. The situation is simply too good to be true, but as she begins to walk in, she sees a small beggar child on the side of the road.
“This,” Sara says to herself, “is one of the populace. All the kings and queens, when they were poor and driven from their thrones, shared with those worse off than themselves.” And though faint with hunger, she buys a bag full of buns and gives five out of six of them to the other girl. A beautiful picture is painted here – a ravenous child sharing with one even hungrier than herself.
There are two conclusions I draw from this tale:
1. Always serve others. In my personal life, this is one of my weaknesses. Too often I forget that I need to be selfless as Sara was. She was starving, but willing to share what little she had. I have a lot more to be thankful for, but sometimes I don’t want to share or I have other plans for what to do with my time. There is no beauty in selfishness.
2. I’m ravenous – and that’s how it should be. Jesus said this to the not-so-good Samaritan: “Whoever drinks the water I give will never thirst again.” And it’s very true. We are filled with the Holy Spirit – nothing else is necessary. God continues to satisfy in new ways. My God loves surprises. He loves to see us pray about the questions we have for Him, to discover Him in ways we never saw before. Psalm 23:5 makes sense in this way: “…my cup runs over.”
Phil Joel wrote, “To have found You, and still be looking for You, is the soul’s paradox of love…You fill my cup, I lift it up for more.”
God wants us to be ravenous for Him, that He is more than capable of filling us up, and we are to pass His love for us onto others.