“You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
This morning I was having my toast and the Lord made me laugh – I just love it when He does that! I received a whole new outlook from Him on just how much of His joy He wants to fill me up with each day. He wants it to burst from the seams, spill out all over the place, and spread like wildfire. He does not want me to try to contain it…not one little bit of it.
This all came to me as I was eating my breakfast. I like to put peanut butter on my toast and occasionally, I put some honey on top of it. Yum! Although I spread the honey onto the toast nice and evenly, it always drips every single time, without fail. So I was eating and enjoying my yummy honey-toast, and here it came…the inevitable drip down my fingers. Oh no!
And the Lord got me thinking: Why do I always try to make sure it doesn’t drip in the first place? I mean, what’s the big deal here? When we were little kids we just reveled in that kind of ooey icky-ness – we just simply licked our fingers and proceeded to enjoy some more! In fact, that drippy sticky stuff was often the fun part of it all. We didn’t care if it made a mess, we didn’t care if it made us look gross, and we certainly didn’t mind the taste of it all and the fun of getting to lick up every last little drop before we ran out and had to move on. If we left some droplets behind for someone else to clean up, who would care about that anyway, right? I mean, it would probably be a privilege for mom to come behind me and see what fun I just had, wouldn’t it?
Ha – the mind of a child….I love that too. So does Jesus. 🙂
We even kind of enjoyed it when we could leave our faces a little dirty too, didn’t we? I can recall being a young girl and kind of just “wanting” to carry that leftover sweetness around with me for a while before cleaning up. Of course, mom would always get to me right away with a warm washcloth and wipe it squeaky clean. I never liked that part. I don’t know why it is…. if kids are just busy moving onto the next fun thing to do and don’t want to be bothered….or if it’s for some other reason, but have you noticed that most kids are that way? They want to sit in the mess for a while. They want to carry it around with them for a bit. They are more than ready to move on to the next thing Jesus has in store for them in life and they don’t think twice about lugging around the past reminder of the fun they just had messing up the kitchen right along with them. They like to keep the sticky.
We all know what it looks like when a baby eats cake, right? Most of us think it’s cute and really get a kick out of not only watching them enjoy this little sweet fest and rite of passage, but we allow them to smash it, squish it between their fingers, run it through their hair, into their ears, and just plain PLAY. But then when we’re done being entertained by it all, we are right there to clean it up – again. We’re right there to say, “OK, we’re done now.” Cranky adults!
And why do you think that is it like a rite of passage for a baby to get to make a mess out of their birthday cake? I think it’s because we know that it’s only when they are a baby they will be “allowed” to do something like this by the rest of us….we laugh at it and think it’s cute not only because they make such a mess of it all, but because we secretly wish WE could still eat our cake that way too. And we know all too well that the world is going to take this fun away first chance it gets. So sad – sniff! 😦
The world wants to steal our Jesus joy too, you know. But I don’t think that Jesus wants us to ever be done taking our fill of Him and carrying Him around with us wherever we go, even when it may look like a “mess” to others. That honey of mine is like Jesus and the joy He gives me in my life. He fills me up with so much that there is just no way it’s not going to drip outside of the little box I tend to try to keep it in sometimes. Even when I have a down day, I have that joy of Jesus sticking with me whatever I do, wherever I go.
I got to thinking about how that might really be His intent….to fill us with such joy, peace, abundance, and love that we can’t help but walk around enjoying that sticky all day long. Aside from blessing us, why else might that be?
I can think of a few good reasons why right this very moment……..
- Sticky is a pretty good reminder: it makes us ask ourselves why we are all sticky and uncomfortable, and then we can look back to that moment we experienced with Jesus earlier – how He was equipping us to carry Him with us throughout the day, lest we forget.
- Sticky attracts: And we need to be able to be magnets for Jesus in this world – we need to be able to draw people in so they can find out what they are missing.
- Sticky is contagious: It’s hard to mistake that child walking around with the cake all over their face and fingers, isn’t it? Sticky joy makes it pretty clear that they have been busy enjoying that sweetness – taking a bath in it – covering themselves in it completely.
- Sticky shows we love Jesus: People are curious about that – they want to be like that baby covered in cake too. OR they want to go help them get “cleaned up”, which then gives us an opportunity to share just why we don’t want them to come to us with their washcloths of the world. Instead, we can say “Here, want some? It’s reeeeallllly good”.
- Sticky just screams AWESOME! In a way, it gives us the opportunity to show the world that acceptable or not, being filled with the love of Jesus is awesome and it’s messy – in a great, sticky, honey-dripping-like kind of way! It’s going to spread – it’s going to ooze and drip – it’s going to taste great, and it’s going to be an adventure!
Of course, there are always those who don’t want to see the mess at all, who have a phobia about sticky, even when it’s sweet, cute, tasty, or alluring in any other way. As I said, it’s just not “acceptable” to walk around all messy like that in today’s world – kid or no kid. Some just can’t stand not to have that total sense of order and control at all times, to have anything affect them that is outside the realm of perfection and good protocol – I’ve been there, and I still find myself in that place at times. That’s when I know it’s time to make a mess – as long as it’s a good kind of mess.
We know that many people in our world definitely don’t want to see Jesus written all over our faces, our hearts, our lives, our fingers, our….ANYthing. They don’t want it to get on them either. It’s kind of how I would imagine a leper used to feel. Nowadays, we don’t have to be covered in ugly to be shunned….being covered in the sweetness of the Lord is just as, if not more so, scary to some folks.
But if we decide to all walk around sticky with Jesus, after a while, will there be much choice left for others when they have to interact with us? They will need to come to grips with it somehow, someway…even if they don’t like it much. Are we going to clean ourselves up to be more palatable to those folks who need Jesus and His love, or are we going to let Him in, put Him on, and let Him show? We need to stay sticky for Jesus…we need to stay sticky for all those who don’t know Him yet…because He loves them too, and He asks us to stick with it and spread the good news no matter what it costs us. We gotta keep the sticky.
I recall too, that as I was driving my son to school this morning, still carrying with me a good dose of fresh honey on and in-between several of my fingers, I realized: I am a bit uncomfortable with this residual stickiness here – even though it is nothing but a mark of the abundance and joy the Lord has placed into my life. I thought about how strange it is that this great thing can still be uncomfortable to walk around with…and….why is that? Isn’t it funny how even the great stuff of Jesus, the blessings of abundance, joy, peace, comfort – even they can be hard to carry around with us? Even that is difficult to embrace when it’s spilling out, messy…just all over the place. We, who are already followers and lovers of Christ….all too often, we try to contain Him and keep ourselves out of the mess….the mess of the bad, and the mess of the good. We are so weird, don’t you think?
We like to be cleaned up and move on when we are done filling our little bellies, don’t we? But I challenge you today, as I am doing for myself, to allow that messy joy to stick with you for a while. We need to allow ourselves to experience in full the layers of honey left behind on our skin…sticking between our fingers…even when we are tempted to just wash the sticky right off.
Will we pick up some dirt along the way too? Will that make all the more tempting to clean ourselves up and get rid of sticky? Are we at risk of being stung as we are walking around covered in all that honey? All of this and more will happen, I am sure. But God will heal our stings, and at the very least, the party doing the stinging is going to get a pretty good taste of Jesus in that process, right? Let’s help them to enjoy it as much as we do. 🙂
Let Jesus fill you today with Himself – let Him seep into you, fill you up and spill out from within, allowing you draw others near. Invite them to partake of the honey – there’s clearly enough to go around! Enjoy it, bathe in it, and walk around for a while wearing it. I think we’ll find that being uncomfortable in the messiness of a life lived like this is rewarding beyond belief and will bring glory to His name.
God is good and He wants everyone to know they are invited to be sticky with His joy, His love, and that His offer of salvation. Once accepted, it sticks forever! I think we should get this party started. Let’s get busy, and let’s get messy! May you enjoy being sticky for Jesus today and every day. Keep the Faith, and Keep the Sticky!
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15-16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
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