Searching my memory, I don’t think that I have ever been so hungry that my stomach has actually hurt. My heart has been hurt before because of cross words or actions between close, loved ones and myself. My spirit has certainly been hurt because of a ripple in my faith or hope. But, I don’t think that my soul has ever hurt because of hunger. Thus, it is difficult for me to really grasp the emotion of Enos’ heart-felt, “And my soul hungered.” (See Enos 1:4) What has been the extent to which my soul has indeed hungered? Was it for the safety of our children when they were out of our presence as they grew up? Or was it for the pain of a migraine headache to subside enough so that I could sleep for a few hours and let the prescription drugs work their miracle yet one more time? Maybe it was for the agony and grief of losing my job last year? Either way, I’m just not able to fully grasp how Enos was feeling that day out in the woods. Looking deeper into that one short verse, he continued with, “and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.” Although I probably have not prayed continuously for more than fifteen or twenty minutes very often, I certainly have had the same prayer in my heart and mind all day long; stopping every so often to even formerly express my feelings to my Heavenly Father. Maybe I have come closer to experiencing Enos’ hunger than I give myself credit. After all, isn’t it said that we are our own worst critic?
Often times we judge ourselves too harshly, and become discouraged when we are trying to do better. Do you know why? Well, the adversary is real, and he wants us to doubt ourselves – our dreams, our self-worth, our self-esteem. If he could just get his foot in the doorway to our soul with a little bit of discouragement, he could begin to prop the door open more and more with other thoughts of unworthiness. I was reminded of this by my loving wife a couple of weeks ago…
The weekend had passed, and I was inspiration-less in writing my weekly post on this website, so I let the week go by without writing. When I explained to her that I was quite discouraged because there had only been seven people who had logged into this blog during the previous week, she had a simple reply for me – “Then maybe you should write about fighting off discouragement.” Hmmm? I wonder if the adversary’s constant reminders of my shortcomings or unworthiness are keeping my soul from truly hungering? Discouragement had given him a foothold in the door, and then he proceeded to tear me down in diverse ways, until I truly felt inspiration-less.
Well then, in our daily lives, how can we deal with such discouragement? How can we get back to that good feeling that brings light and joy into our days? Maybe when we don’t feel that hunger, we should still do as Enos did – “and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul.” I think that tonight, before I lay my head on my soft pillow, in my warm bed, under the roof over my head, in this peaceful city, in this beautiful, free country…Maybe it’s time that I really share my gratitude with my Heavenly Father. Oh, there are so many things for which I am grateful, and I should let these thoughts be vocalized in my prayers! Maybe…just maybe…I could develop a hunger in my soul to go to my loving Heavenly Father more often in thanks, praying for the welfare of others around me, as well as praying for my enemies. Enos did just that, and he felt God’s love almost immediately. I would also like to feel that hunger, so I should follow the example that Enos left for us in the Book of Mormon, once again likening all scriptures unto us.