Unveiled Hunger

By: Krista Barley


     We often judge people on predetermined notions, determining a person’s hunger for God based on exterior things we can see. We tend to automatically conclude that people don’t want God because they seemingly have everything together. Often, we fail to realize that people we see everyday might look like they have everything together, but inside there is a deep longing to know God and to have a relationship with Him.

I was raised in a “non-religious” home. I remember only one occasion on Easter when we attended church as a family. Growing up on the West coast where according to The Barna Group, church attendance levels are the lowest in the country, church was never even a part of our family’s routine. We spent our Sundays doing recreational or social activities.

As I grew a little older, I would ask my mother from time to time to take me to church. In grade school, I recall going to a Sunday School class where the teacher said that we shouldn’t be ashamed to be Christians; rather, we should be proud. I remember vividly being on the playground the following day and proudly telling my friends that I went to church!

In high school, the small desire that had been in my heart as a child continued to grow. I had a good friend in high school, Erica, who attended a Baptist church regularly with her family. I would often ask to attend church with her and her family. When my parents divorced and the typical pressures of the teenage years weighed on me, I found myself searching even more for God, or for some meaning to life. I look back and see that God was drawing me one step at a time.

The apostle Paul was the most unlikely figure to accept Christ. His life was entrenched socially, emotionally, financially, in Jewish Orthodoxy. He witnessed persecutions and sought to find fault with other Christians. You can just imagine what Ananias thought when God spoke to him regarding Paul. Certainly, Ananias, too, was predisposed to judge Paul. In Acts 9, Ananias tells the Lord, “I have heard all about this man.” In other words, “NO way! This guy doesn’t want anything to do with Christianity!” But, when the Lord told him to “go” anyway, for Paul was a chosen vessel, Ananias willingly obeyed. He overrode his natural thought process and, instead, followed the prompting of the Spirit.

I thank God that when I was 16 years old, 2 young men from Christian Life Center in Stockton, California, had a passion for souls and reached out to my sister at the health club where they were all members. From this contact, my sister and I both came to know Christ and experience the great salvation that He has for all who hunger! They easily could have looked at us and concluded that we would never be interested in God, but instead, they reached out and shared their faith with the two of us.

Never be fooled by the outward appearance – the façade that people so aptly portray! Your neighbor, your co-worker, your friend, your family member may very well be looking for just what you have!

Krista was raised in Stockton, CA. Spending a year on missions in Europe, she earned her bilingual diploma in French from the Alliance Francaise in Paris. In 1994, she married Jonathan Barley and moved to Hobart, IN. She has since earned her B.A. from Valparaiso University and a post-baccalaureate degree in Accounting from Indiana University. She and Jonathan have 3 children, Ethan – 7, Julia – 5, and Austin – 4. They pastor First Church in Hobart, IN.



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