Are you thirsty today?
“But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14
I always liked my eggs better sunny side up when I was a kid. Not gooey, or anything, but with enough yolk to dip my fun, buttery toast in. Yum!
Side Note: This was written about a few weeks ago when I was preparing for a medical test/procedure for which I had to fast and I had not eaten for about 18 hours. Spoiled as we are in this country of abundance, suffice it to say I was really, really hungry!
As I grew older and became primarily responsible to make my own eggs, I found it was just easier to either scramble them or cook them yolk facing down. I don’t know the fancy-schmancy word for that, so whatevs – hee hee.
This change in plan was mainly due to my own laziness – I was either just in too much of a hurry to make the eggs the other way, or didn’t want to deal with the mess. (The control issues, remember, friends?)
But sunny side up is just way better if you ask me. I just didn’t want to make the investment required to have them that way when it came right down to it. It seemed at the time – just, not worth it. The work of it all!
For me, I find myself of late gravitating back out of the controlled, yet easy, face down version to the more-chance-to-screw-this-up-by-taking-a-risk version of egg frying. And my path in my entire life approach seems to be the same way right now, thanks be to Jesus!
Friends, instead of just going through the motions, I have embraced the “Son-eee” Side Up in life – the one that means following after Him even when there’s risk involved (and work, I might add). I guess that’s what it means to truly be a follower after Christ, right? We actually follow Him any and everywhere He might lead. Sometimes He makes it easy, and sometimes, not so much. But it’s always worth it. Even if it were always difficult, it would be worth it. Because Jesus – well, HE is worth everything. Because of Him, we are blessed even in our trials.
Face up leaves room for vulnerability, doesn’t it? If we try to be in charge of cracking the egg and cooking it ourselves, we risk breaking that yolk. Then what?
Maybe we should let God be in charge of directing our cooking efforts. Maybe we should risk the mess. Is it possible that it is worth taking the extra time and care necessary in order to live life the way Christ intended and be nourished by the results regardless of the outcome?
Could it be that we could actually embrace……………
But then there’s this too……………….
I’m flippin’ back to sunny side up, friends. Because the Son of God IS up.
He knows how to mix ’em, and He knows how to stir ’em. And He definitely knows just when to flip ’em.
He lets us help, too. Sometimes we do well, while other times, we might crack a little. But then He puts it all back together and makes it better than it was when it all started.
And sometimes, He lets us dip our toast in it all and have some fun.
Won’t we take some risks for Jesus in order to allow Him to work in our lives? Isn’t “Son-ee” Side Up always the better way, even in the face of the unknown? After all, He always takes care of us – even when the risks we take don’t always turn out the way we’d like for them to – we are guaranteed the best eternal outcome imaginable if we have accepted Him as our Lord and Savior.
He’s the Bread of life, man….the Bread of life!
He who observes the wind will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything. In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good. Ecclesiastes 11: 4-6
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace
because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the
power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Have you ever approached the Lord and the priority you make Him in your life in this way? I am sad to admit that I did until just a few years ago. And I still can end up here at times if I get distracted by the things of this world.
For most of my life, I thought I could just fold Jesus into my heart, mind and behaviors in ways that suited me to fit my own situation and agenda of the day. I’d cry out to Him when I needed help, go to church once in a while because it was the right thing to do, and remember my Savior fondly at Christmas time when I’d see all the little manger scenes everywhere that contained figurines of my sweet baby Jesus.
I felt love for Jesus, but I didn’t show Him very much of it. I didn’t bother to talk to Him a whole lot, certainly was a fair-weather friend at best, and pretty much just took for granted overall that He’d just be there for me whenever I decided to call upon Him. I didn’t make Him the center of my life, just an underlying part of it. He was the One who was there in the back -behind everything. He was the One I thought I could conjure up whenever I so desired, and then leave in the dust the rest of the time. He was the One I liked to hide away for a rainy day.
It breaks my heart to even think about it as I write about it right now.
Aside from how very wrong that is, how very sad and heartbreaking it is that I was that lame of a friend, child, lamb, follower (ha!) of my magnificent Savior; I also actually believed that as long as I brought Him into my life in some way, that I would be sufficiently nourished and could go on living just how I wanted to live without suffering any real consequences.
Revolving buffet of Holiness anyone? Ensued the cycle of binging/deprivation: The unhealthy over-stuffing, then inevitable follow-up starvation attempts. The empty spiritual calories; the shame; the hiding behind of everything unhealthy and unstable. And YES, the consequences of a life lived in such a way as this.
Ahhh ~ the twisted mind of someone who has battled serious issues with food and weight management. And the REALLY screwed up mind of one who only peppered in the Lord to suit their own fancies or tastes for the day, circumstance, or period in their life they happened to be going through at the time.
Yep, that was me, my friends. I lived it. Sadly, I did.
Yes…this paints a very true picture of how I lived out my spiritual life and treated my relationship with my Savior. This is how I approached receiving my nourishment from the Lord. I’d binge a couple of times a year at most, and usually in the wrong ways…..
And then I’d go right back to ignoring Him for daily sustenance and communion.
And worship? Praise? Gratefulness? We weren’t even going to go there! Who had room for that?
If I could make room in my tummy after gorging upon myself at the last meal, I would graciously then sprinkle a little of Him in there at the next one – just to stoke my energy and keep my metabolism going – just to make sure I was “doing the right thing” and taking a balanced approach overall.
But the weight wouldn’t come off – neither physically nor spiritually. The heaviness continued for a very, very long time.
I realize now that I was actually depriving myself of Him. I was fattening myself up with all of the wrong things and stuffing Him down. I was hiding beneath the rolls of stuff that kept me warm and comfortable and which offered an alluring, but ever-deceitful false sense of truth and love. Those “rolls” felt safe, but they were ugly, not necessary, and definitely put me at risk of death.
Who has room in a set up like that for God the Father, Jesus the Savior, and the Holy Spirit to be the All of their life? Yet another reminder of my flawed thinking: They are One….a package deal….and I was burying the whole of God, and any part of Him, really – right out of my life.
I am human, and limited in my capacity; I have a puny little brain. So, I will be the first to say that when it comes to the Trinity, I simply cannot do it justice to write about it – at least not yet. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that I believe the truth and awesomeness that our God is All –
With all of my heart, I desire for the Lord to reveal to me even more of an understanding of all that He is…as much as He desires…as much as He wants to help me to expand my feeble mind, heart, everything; to know more of Him. A fast way to ensure this doesn’t happen at all, is to continue to merely sprinkle the Him into our lives, rather than open ourselves to His will and submit so that He can fill us up with Him entirely.
We have the privilege of feasting upon the Lord if we have accepted the gift of salvation offered to us through Jesus Christ, and we truly ask for Him to be the absolute Lord and center of our lives. If we want to eat clean and gain true nourishment; be fit, and be healthy – we cannot eat only once a day. And we certainly can’t make that meal one that is laden with bad stuff of no nutritional value to us whatsoever. It creates a false sense of fullness, and leads to so many awful things.
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4
You know, I have also found that bigger doesn’t always mean stronger for we humans. I am literally just over 100 pounds lighter than I was a couple of years ago, and I assure you that I am FAR stronger than I was back then. Just look at David and Goliath for proof that smaller can definitely be stronger….and it’s because of God.
God though? God is not small. Yet He works through small all the time. He works through weak. He works through frail. He works through meek, low, and broken. God’s greatness works through it all. That is why He is often so dearly referred to as our Awesome God. He has it all under control.
And strong and powerful as He is, and weak and sinful as we can be, He can, and does meet us where we are at, and He is always good for us.
Now that I am healthy, I have found that I actually prefer vegetables and lean meats more than all that other junk I used to stuff myself with. They are more dense, they give me more energy, and they just plain taste better. The more I eat of them, the more I want to continue to fill my body with these wonderful things.
The same goes with God, and all that is holy living. The same goes with being in His word, being in fellowship with Him, and listening to and living by the Spirit. The same goes of obeying the commands He has set forth instead of living for the junk of this world.The same goes in keeping my eyes fixed upon Jesus, the cross, and the full and beautiful knowledge and hope that He is risen, and one day, we will reign with Him forever!
This, is now more than simply my “preference”. This, I now crave. I find myself wanting more and more of Him and His nourishment with every passing day. These aren’t icky veggies, my friends. The “meat” lies in the veggies. Just when I think I am full to the brim, I want more. And you know what? That’s a sign of a very healthy metabolism. I want my spiritual metabolism to work the way it was intended to all along – I am so thankful to see that it’s even possible! It’s really true when He tells us………..
“For nothing is impossible with God.” Luke 1:37
Who says that the treats in life can only be the stuff that is just plain bad for us? I am grateful for the change the Lord has created in reference to my taste buds.
When I look at the growth He has brought about within my spiritual self over that same period of time I was getting fit and healthy physically, I notice how both things ran parallel to one another. That’s a thing of God too! The smaller I have become, (focus on SELF), the more room there has been for Him to live inside of me and truly become the center of my life. (more of HIM)
Although I am 100 pounds lighter, I now feel more spiritually full and stronger in the Lord than ever. I am standing on the strongest foundation one can – built upon Jesus Christ and all that He is and all that we have in Him. I think it might also have to do with the fact that I stopped buffet-type eating when it comes to my spiritual nourishment, and now I just order the Jesus special at every single meal. I even snack!
But make no mistake: I get off track and start to sprinkle in too much self, even when I don’t realize I am doing it. And God has been faithful in showing me when this is starting to happen. I love the fact that the voice of the Holy Spirit keeps me in check that way. I love that God has my back. And I love that He makes it clear when more discipline and obedience are called for – and He gently reminds me that I will need His help every step of the way.
I have also noticed that I am far more thirsty than I used to be if I don’t drink enough water. Water and hydration is so crucial. I think that the more fit you are, and the more you exercise, and the more efficient your body is at processing and purging toxins, the more water you actually need. The more you crave. And the Lord promises us that he will quench our thirst too – He really is the only true hydrator. Awesome again! He even tells us we will never be thirsty again if we remember to drink of Him….
“but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
Although the wrong approach to the Lord dominated my life for years, just like everything else I said, the quantity does not outweigh the quality. Self may have more time under it’s belt, and self may have more years of my life that have been centered on Jesus, but self has not won by any stretch of the imagination. What the Lord has done in the recent time of my life holds far more power than four dumb decades do.
He works through that too, you know. He works through “fake big.” His big gets bigger in us as we get smaller. His big shows up in us as we move through times of weakness and times of triumph. His big is always big, no matter where we are at. And He shows up when we ask for Him to show up – then, everyone else, including ourselves can see. Instead of being buried under the rolls of deceit, He is there…always, guiding us, leading us, and feeding us. And not with empty spiritual calories.
So have a feast today, my friends – not one of magnificent self, either. Let’s fill ourselves to the brim with the Lord – and watch how He will work to grow us, but not to make us any bigger than we need to be. Let’s have quantity and quality in Jesus!
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. John 6:35
This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. John 6:50
“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……..
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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16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
A sweet little visit from a gal bearing treats,
Let’s just call her, our dear “Cookie K”.
She spent so much time mixing and baking…
Brought with her, bright light to our day.
The treats were so yummy and hit the right spot…
When we gobbled them up straight away…
What a beautiful soul to think of us so;
Our dear, wonderful…sweet Cookie K.
Friends bring us joy with their care and their love,
Acts of service where God shines right through.
If you don’t have someone dear like our own Cookie K..
May God bring one your way to bless you.
Today might you be a special blessing to others,
Whether you bake, or you clean, or just say….
Say, “Here, have a cookie, you really deserve it”,
Be somebody else’s sweet Cookie K!
A smile is enough if that’s what you can offer….
A good one of those goes quite far.
So please don’t forget what all you can do…
Show love to others, from right where you are.
“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:2-4
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