Have you ever been hangry? For those of you who don’t know, “hangry” = hungry + angry. In other words, it’s that state you get in when you’re just past the point of hungry and you become a little crazy until you feed that growling appetite within you.

I consider myself a passive-aggressive hangry person. I don’t lash out; I retreat into my soul and will not speak to anyone until I have some calories running through my veins. When pushed far enough, my emotions may take over and a waterfall of tears and frustration swallow me up until I am fed. It is one of my least favorite mental states to be in.

And yet, even though I hate that state so much, I sometimes allow myself to become spiritually hangry.

I believe our bodies are a direct demonstration of how our spiritual health works. When we are hungry for food, our stomach growls. We may feel weak, unsteady, and lightheaded. Our minds don’t work as quickly. And then, if we continue to ignore the warning signs, the hangry monster takes over and we are pushed over the edge until our bellies are full and our bodies are recovered.

If we are not feeding our spirit with the Word of God and prayer, we may begin to feel discouraged, disconnected, and not quite ourselves.

We start to separate ourselves from our friends because we don’t feel like we have the energy or the mental capacity to talk about Jesus. And then, over time, we hit a breaking point. (Mine usually involves me sobbing into my pillow for no apparent reason.)

The warning signs are there. The hunger pains are apparent. But if we choose to ignore them, we are setting ourselves up for a fit of hanger that surpasses our scariest nightmares.

David seems to acknowledge this concept in Psalm 42. “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

He knows his deep need for God, and over and over throughout the whole chapter, David sees the warning signs of his God-hanger: his soul is downcast (verse 5), he mourns (verse 9), and he is in physical agony (verse 10). And yet, he knows that the only way to make this pain go away is to fill his soul with the praises of God, to continue bowing his life before the Lord and sing His praises day in and day out.

So my encouragement to you is this: don’t miss the warning signs. Be in His Word daily. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).  Praise God through the pain. Let Him fill you. And when you feel yourself slipping, be ever more intentional.

Fill your soul with the Spirit of God, and He will never let you go hungry (or hangry) again!