Clara Williams wrote her song, “Satisfied” based on verse 9 of Psalm 107: “He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” She wrote, “All my life long I had panted for a draught, from some clear spring, that I hoped would quench the burning of the thirst I felt within. Feeding on the husks around me, till my strength was almost gone, longed my soul for something better, only still to hunger on. Poor I was, and sought for riches, something that would satisfy, but the dust I gathered round me only mocked my soul’s sad cry. Well of water, ever springing, bread of life so rich and free, untold wealth that never faileth, my Redeemer is to me. Chorus: Hallelujah! I have found Him whom my soul so long has craved! Jesus satisfies my longings—Thru His blood I now am saved.”

When Howard Rutledge’s plane was shot down over Vietnam, he parachuted into a little village and was immediately attacked, stripped naked, and imprisoned. For the next seven years he endured brutal treatment. His food was little more than a bowl of rotting soup with a glob of pig fat—skin, hair, and all. Rats the size of cats and spiders as big as fists scurried around him. He was frequently cold, alone, and tortured. He was sometimes shackled in excruciating positions and left for days in his own waste with carnivorous insects boring through his oozing sores. In his book, In the Presence of Mine Enemies, Rutledge talks about the hunger that consumed him wasn’t the physical hunger as much as the spiritual hunger. He writes, “Now the sights and sounds and smells of death were all around me. My hunger for spiritual food soon outdid my hunger for a steak. Now I wanted to know about that part of me that will never die. Now I wanted to talk about God and Christ and the church. But in Heartbreak solitary confinement there was no pastor, no Sunday-school teacher, no Bible, no hymnbook, no community of believers to guide and sustain me. I had completely neglected the spiritual dimension of my life. It took prison to show me how empty life is without God.”

The real hunger, the real thirst, is that of the soul. Jesus is the living water and the bread of life.

“Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done. Sing to him; yes, sing his praises. Tell everyone about his wonderful deeds.” (Psalm 105:1-2)