Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Are You Hungry?

Often times, it is during the night when I have either my most insightful OR my most frightful ideas/thoughts. Everything seems magnified and intensified for me in the middle of the night. It is during this time that I often play over conversations that I had during that day and critique my responses or statements harshly. I am my own worst critic. It is also during the night that I have had moments of brilliance and creativity. And if I am very still and very attentive, it is also during this time that I can hear the whisper of the voice of my Father God prompting me in ways that He would desire to see me go. Most people may not have a regular opportunity to experience these middle-of-the-night revelations like I do. But then again most people are sleeping at 2:30am. I guess you have to either be plagued by insomnia OR be breastfeeding a baby (these nursers never seem to follow the "books" on when they should start sleeping through the night) in order to be blessed by these opportunities!
Last night was one of those nights when I heard God's voice.
He wasn't shouting. Nor hammering me over the head. He wasn't scolding me for how long it's been since I haven't picked up His Word and read His letter to me. No. Instead He was gently prompting me. Asking me, "Are you hungry?". Before I had a chance to answer, He reminded me that Jesus is the BREAD OF LIFE.

How did He know that I was spiritually hungry? I am doing just fine. I've really been holding it together these days. My house is in order. My kids are happy. My husband is being supported and loved. BUT, have I been doing these all on my own might (I tend to be very strong and capable in this sense... you know, being big on checking things off of my to-do list)?
I found the verses in John 6 today that talk about the WORK that is required of us. I have always loved the story of Mary and Martha. Martha the "doer", the hostess with the most-est, the neat-freak, the perfectionist, the by-the-book hospitality giver. And Mary, the slacker, the lazy sister, the one who loves the party but none of the work that has to go into it to get to the point of sitting down to enjoy it (my initial take on her!). I always identified with Martha, the one who does the work. The one who is responsible and knows how to take care of others. And there has always been one thing about this story that I didn't get. In the end, Martha scolds Mary for not pitching in. And then gets Jesus involved and says something like, "This is so not fair. I'm stuck in the kitchen and Mary is sitting at your feet doing nothing!!". Jesus reminds Martha that "only one thing is needed". I got the gist of what Jesus was saying... sit at my feet, enjoy me, love me and learn from me, but I never really knew the exact fill-in-the-blank answer. What is the ONE thing that is needed?
Well, I think I found the answer in John 6:29. The disciples ask Jesus,
"What must we do to do the work God requires?" Jesus answers, "The work of God is this: TO BELIEVE IN THE ONE HE HAS SENT." That's it? THE work of God is not serving others, or hosting parties or making food for the hungry? No (these things are good, but not the "one thing that is needed"). THE work of God is to simply believe in Jesus. He goes on to say in verse 35 that he "is the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will NEVER go hungry, and whoever believes in me will NEVER be thirsty." NEVER. EVER.
It is a dry and barren land that we live in. It is often times cruel and demanding. But we mustn't ever stop doing "the work of God" and coming to sit at the feet of the one who will always feed and water us. How refreshing...

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