For Western countries, the current supply problems are an unusual experience. Delivery problems with retailers, empty spaces on supermarket shelves, quite a few products can only be obtained after a long wait or not at all.
It started with the pandemic
Much has to do with the Ukraine war, but not only. The first problems came in the wake of the pandemic, when the wheels of the global economy began to break down. The war in Ukraine added further problems. And there are additional burdens due to problems with container transport and the lockdowns in China.
It's an unfamiliar way of life for many people in this country: problems with utilities, increases in cost and inflation at unfamiliar levels. Because a secure supply is not only a form of quality of life, it also conveys security. All of a sudden, however, this is shaken; all of a sudden it appears unstable, vulnerable and insecure. When was the last time there was something like this?
Countries with much bigger problems
But for all the problems in this country, it's also important to say that many countries are struggling with far more tangible problems. In Western countries, it's all about prosperity. Lower economic growth. In contrast, however, the loss of wheat supplies from Ukraine and Russia, for example, is leading to hunger and crises in poorer countries, especially, but not only, in Africa.
Inner and physical hunger
In this context, a word of the prophet Isaiah, who lived over 2,000 years ago, seems rather strange: "Even those who have no money can come. Take bread and eat! Here! Here is wine and milk. Help yourselves, it costs nothing! Why do you spend your hard-earned money on bread that is useless and on food that does not satisfy you??" (Isaiah, chapter 55, verses 1-2).
Water and bread for free from the "discounter God"? What is this and how should it be done? This is about the connection between inner (emotional) and physical hunger. And it is much more obvious than some people think: Scientists at the University of Arizona have studied how abstinence from consumption affects the inner state of mind. Among other results, it became clear: the abandonment led to more satisfaction.
Human beings have an inner hunger, a thirst and a longing for meaning and real life that only God can and will satisfy. This is also reflected in the use of the Hebrew word "nefesh" in the Bible. The word is usually translated as soul, but that doesn't hit the mark. And so there are several statements of a thirsting soul that God wants to meet.
Jesus puts an end to inner thirst
A thought that Jesus also takes up when he speaks to a woman and says to her: "But whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never thirst again". This water becomes in him a never-ending spring that gives eternal life." (Gospel of John, chapter 4, verse 13-14).
The economic situation should not be glossed over. But maybe some of the problems mentioned help us in this country to think about our inner condition and to get a feeling for it again, instead of covering up our inner needs by buying and consuming or distracting from them – maybe even unconsciously.
If you pray, Jesus will answer!
Have you ever asked Jesus to fill your inner hunger and emptiness? They do not need to make any particularly artful or impressive words in doing so. For example, you could pray like this: "Jesus, I feel empty. Please touch in me what is so empty and hungry/thirsty." – Jesus will answer your prayer! And you will experience a security that consumption and external things, even relationships (!) cannot give you.