Stress-Free Living

Today I’m happy to share some words by Donna Gaines and the post could not be more timely. Who couldn’t stand to hear more about stress-free living? I hope you are blessed by her words! I’m looking forward to reading her new study, Leaving Ordinary!

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What keeps you awake at night?  What puts a knot deep down in your stomach? What is it that you have allowed to steal your joy?  Regardless of what it might be, God wants to set you free from all anxiety.  You may think that is impossible.  But God has commanded us to not be anxious (Phil. 4:6-7). I have described this “stress-free” living in my new book Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer.

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The Bible tells us, we are not to live as “mere men” (1 Cor. 3:3 NASB). We leave “ordinary” behind when we meet Christ and begin to live the Spirit life that only He can provide.  This extraordinary relationship leads to a stress-free life. In Philippians 4:6–7, we are commanded to be anxious for nothing (nkjv). But how are we to do this? By trusting the One who has called us and is preparing us for heaven. I did not say that you would have a “pain-free” or “trouble-free” life. Jesus said just the opposite. He said, “In the world you have tribulation,” then added, “but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 nasb).

If He has overcome, we can overcome through Him! The Spirit of God has the ability to lift you above the circumstances of your life so you begin to see them from an eternal vantage point. That means taking the intrusive thoughts of anxiety and worry that seem to bombard your mind at times and refuse them entrance. Second Corinthians 10:5 tells us to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” (nasb).

Instead of worrying, turn those anxious thoughts into prayer requests. Jesus has told us to “cast all [our] anxiety upon Him, because He cares for [us]” (1 Peter 5:7 niv). As we do this, we can claim His peace that will literally build a fortress around our hearts and minds. Then Isaiah 26:3 will become a reality: “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (NLT)

(Leaving Ordinary, p. xiii)

Faith and worry cannot coexist in our hearts.  We either trust the Lord, or we lean on our own finite, human reasoning, vainly seeking to solve our own problems.  Sadly, our “problems” are often the proverbial “what ifs” that never actually materialize.  Our adversary, the devil, is always ready and willing to provide his annoying “fiery darts” of anxiety, that send our minds into tailspins of speculations and vain imaginations. With these he keeps us distracted and spiritually disengaged while simultaneously robbing us of the peace that Christ died to purchase. Fortunately for us, there is a better way!

Choose to believe – trust Christ to carry your burden as you roll it over onto Him through prayer.  Then His peace will be yours and you will feel that all too familiar knot in your stomach relax as Christ takes over.  This, my friend, is the stress-free zone Christ has provided for all who believe.

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Donna Gaines –  In addition to InScribed’s Leaving Ordinary: Encounter God Through Extraordinary Prayer Donna is the author of two other books, There’s Gotta Be More and Seated: Living from Our Position in Christ. Donna is also the editor of A Daily Women’s Devotional. She is married to Dr. Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church. Known as “Mom” to her son and three daughters and “Nonna” to her six grandchildren, Donna enjoys Memphis bar-b-que, Alabama football, and anything that you can douse with salsa. Leaving Ordinary is available now.

Just Ask

I have 11 cousins on my dad’s side of the family. We spent a lot of time together growing up, so we are a fairly tight-knit bunch. I’m in the older bunch of kids, so I spent a lot of time “mothering” the little ones. Carter was no exception. I’m sure would be pleased for me to share the fact that I helped potty-train him in one weekend. He was one cute kiddo and only slightly annoying. :)

He had a habit of asking questions. Lots of questions. ALL THE QUESTIONS.

Ginger: Carter, look at the bird flying so high!
Carter: Why?
Ginger: Because it’s pretty!
Carter: Why?
Ginger: Because God made it that way!
Carter: Why?
Ginger: He’s very talented.
Carter: Why?
Ginger: Because He’s the creator of everything.
Carter: Why?

And on. And on. Lots of what, why, and how questions from that little guy. He was so persistent in asking.

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I think Carter was onto something.

In the midst of feeding a baby, staying connected to my family and community, dusting end tables, and writing – God seems to be echoing the theme of asking.

I’m memorizing the book of James and keep returning to chapter 1 starting in verse 5. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Feeling utterly without wisdom in so many areas of my life — big dreams to small tasks — I began to ask. But often I ask like Oliver Twist with my, “please Sir, I want some more” doubts. I don’t really expect my baby to actually sleep through the night or see total change in a life, or wake to a picture of how the dreams could become a reality.

And then my morning reading of Streams in the Desert took me to Psalm 27:13, and I realize I have not placed my confidence in the one who is completely trustworthy when it comes to my hopes and needs. “I remain confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

Throughout my days the theme echoes louder and louder.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24

 Ask confidently. As a toddler questions or asks for their juice, we can approach our Father and simply ask for what is on our hearts. This simple concept is one I had failed to fully grasp until God began pulling on my heart. Ask, Ginger. Just Ask.
From Paul Miller’s A Praying Life
“Let’s do a quick analysis on how little children ask. What do they ask for? Everything and anything. If they hear about Disneyland, they want to go there tomorrow.
How often do little children ask? Repeatedly. Over and over again. They wear us out. Sometimes we give in just to shut them up.
How do little children ask? Without guile. They just say what is on their minds. They have no awareness of what is appropriate or inappropriate.
Jesus tells us to watch little children if we want to learn how to ask in prayer. After introducing the idea of bold asking in the Sermon on the Mount (‘Ask, and it will be given to you’) he tells us why we can boldly ask. ‘Which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!'” (Matthew 7:7, 9-11)
 This book, A Praying Life, has been the final shout to my heart. (I  recommend it!) I’m encouraged and challenged to ask my Heavenly Father for all that is on my heart. Paul Miller reminds me  to not “be embarrassed by how needy your heart is and how much it needs to cry out for grace. Just start praying.”

I knew in my head the promise of prayer, the invitation to ask and receive, but I rarely took God up on it. My prayers were timid. I often talked myself out of asking, reasoning that if God wanted something to happen, He would just make it happen. I forgot about the relationship, and His desire to meet me in prayer. He loves to meet our needs.

So now I’m asking. I’m asking for the baby to fall back asleep, the parking place to free up, the neighbor to come outside, and my day to be directed by His agenda rather than mine. There is so much joy and freedom to be found when we stop giving excuses and simply take our everything to the Lord in prayer.

Just ask.

Following,
Ginger

I need an anchor for my days, even the hangry ones.

It’s amazing what lack of sleep can do to a person, isn’t it? I’m generally a fairly even-keeled gal throughout my day. (Some of my family members are laughing because they might disagree with that sentence.) Let me make a more truthful statement. As long as I’ve eaten (stay away HANGER -> hungry + angry), slept, and things are under control, I’m really pleasant and easy-going.

HAH.

I just reread what I wrote. So maybe I’m not as even-keeled as I would like to imagine. Having a child has illuminated this fact to the nth degree, because my friends, I HAVE NO CONTROL. This is a good thing. It brings me to a place of humility, dependence, and empathy for others. But I don’t really like it. I don’t like waking up in the middle of the night and hanging out with a teething baby for two hours. My emotions run the gambit during that period. First I’m calm and caring. Then I’m tired and desperate. Then sometimes I’m weeping and asking WHY ARE WE AWAKE ALL THE TIME, FOR THE LOVE? Then I can drift into a prayerful and thankful phase. . . but if this phase continues for an hour and my child isn’t getting any closer to calming down, then bring on the bitterness and desperation again. It’s quite the cycle.

I’m not in control. WHAT?

The sleepless nights over the past week were compounded by a busy schedule and lots of speaking and writing requirements. Exhaustion + high expectations = tears and prayer and more tears and more prayer.

After some soul-searching and talking through why I was actually feeling upset, I came to the root of the issue. I don’t like when I’m not in control. Not at all.

But if I try to hang my days on an anchor other than the Lord, I will find myself adrift. As soon as I turn to my own resources I end up frustrated and overwhelmed. Nothing else is weighty enough to see me through the challenges. My performance, recognition, perfection, roles; these are a one-way ticket to a meltdown.

“I’m a bad mom.”

“I’m not cut out for this.”

“If I just try harder.”

“I can’t let them see me fail!”

Sacred Echoes

Enter Hebrews 6:16-19. The phrase “anchor for our soul” came to my heart one challenging morning and I pulled out my Bible to find the verse and context. I have been reading the passage repeatedly every day since.

“People swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie,we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. (NIV)

anchor

During one of those nighttime parties last week, I began singing my old favorite, Come Thou Fount. After about 15 minutes of singing every verse at least three times, I determined a new song was required. The first hymn that came to mind: On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand. I couldn’t remember all of the verses, but I knew enough to get me through that night.

As I sang I began to see the connections with Hebrews 6 for the first time. A smile crept across my face in the dark, early hours of the morning.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
-Edward Mote

The anchor was showing up everywhere I turned. We sang this hymn on Sunday. My research for a lecture led me back to Hebrews 6. The echo was loud and clear. Margaret Feinberg describes the echoes this way,

“I call them sacred echoes because I noticed that throughout my relationships, daily life, and study, the same scripturally sound idea or phrase or word will keep reappearing until I can no longer avoid its presence.” (The Sacred Echo)

As I walk through my days I now find a new course of action for my heart.

Rather than, “Am I good enough?” my question is simple. “Ginger, what is your anchor?”

What is your anchor?

When I’m desperate for approval or recognition – His anchor holds.

When I’m exhausted, frazzled, and worn – His anchor holds.

When you feel less than – His anchor holds.

This is a truth I will tell my soul a hundred times today and then a hundred times tomorrow when we wake up at 3am to do it all over again. . . because let’s be honest, the waves just keep on coming. But thankfully, His anchor holds.

Following and learning,
Ginger

Step #6. Practice Prayer

season

First words that come to mind when I tell you that there are eight days until Thanksgiving and thirty-four until Christmas? I’m guessing rest and renewal don’t make the cut.

The expectations of this season are so high that what often gets side-lined in preparation for these holidays is time with the Lord in prayer.

“The more you pray, the less you’ll panic. The more you worship, the less you worry. You’ll feel more patient and less pressured.” –Rick Warren

Today I want to talk you through the idea of rest and renewal through prayer. I believe with all of my heart that if we invest in this time, the reward will astound us.

Now when I mention prayer, some of you immediately feel more rested. For some of us, prayer is as comfortable as pulling on comfortable sweats.

For others prayer can feel like fitting into a suit we purchased in 1998… it’s a ton of effort only to end up feeling uncomfortable, out of date, and defeating.

This is coming from the perfectionist who served up rote prayers for decades and felt uncomfortable with free-styling prayers that went longer than two or three minutes. Prior to finding freedom, my prayers were giant lists of names and sins. I prayed for the requests and needs of others and asked for forgiveness for all the wrong I had done. Much more than that and I began worrying about the construction and content of my prayers. Simple tools like ACTS – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication only made me feel nervous. My mind wandered and I lived in guilt. I didn’t want to pray.

And yet.

God invites us to pray. Jesus demonstrates how to pray.

If we desire to have our hearts tuned to sing God’s grace we must spend time communicating with Him.

stepStep #6. Practice Prayer.

The truth: I know I should pray so much more than I do AND I often feel as though everyone else prays more and enjoys it far more than I do.

Sybil MacBeth seems to feel similarly and writes in her book Praying in Color, “…But a short attention span and a proclivity for daydreams hamper my efforts. Five or six sentences or breaths into a well-intentioned prayer, I lose focus…. The words of my prayers and the words of my distractions collide in an unholy mess. On a good day, when words flow with more ease, I become so impressed with my successful articulation that I become the center of my own worship. It is not a reverent sight.”

If prayer is something worth doing, then it’s something worth practicing. We aren’t seeking perfection, but communication with our Father. Write, color, draw, sing, walk, speak, just start somewhere!

I know why I must pray in spite of any perceived shortcomings. I must pray because of the deep hunger that stirs inside of me to know the Creator of the Universe. Prayer is our direct way to connect with Him. “Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!” Psalm 66:20.

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In prayer we find a connection to the One who holds our worth, our futures, hopes, fears, dreams, and longings. Jesus lived through prayer, learning to speak God’s words, to do God’s will, and to pursue God’s glory.

“Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
mount of thy redeeming love.”

Following and learning,

Ginger

 

To catch up on the rest of the series:

Tune My Heart

Step #1. Demonstrate Gratitude

Step #2. Today’s Manna

Step #3. Limit Distractions

Step #4. Rest

Step #5. Listen for the Echoes

Texas Bound

Pray for my little family of three right now if you have a moment. We are taking Little Miss on her first flight this morning. I’ve never been afraid of flying but I do have an immense fear of disrupting the peace. I am a rule follower. So the idea that I have this little someone who will possibly scream, leak out fluids, and cause disruptions is less than exciting. But I know that we will learn a lot. God continues to teach me about releasing control. YAY FOR ANOTHER LESSON!

I’m thrilled for the opportunity to introduce Baby Girl to my extended family, but I’m also pumped to be speaking at my first event post-baby. I’m going to be hanging out with Jr. High students this weekend and talking about living wide awake. Throw a prayer up for that one as well!

Saturday afternoon I’m having my first event for the release of my book, Forget the Corsage. I’m so thankful it is happening in a place that has such a rich history for me: Tyler, Texas.

If you are in the area on Saturday afternoon, I would love to see you, meet you, and hug your neck. (Just your neck. My sister tells me this phrase is a little terrifying.)

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Because it’s a party, cookies are likely to be involved. (I’m not above bribery.) See you at The Scroll on Saturday. If not, I’ll be back on the blog next week.

Happy Weekending!

Following,
Ginger

A New Prayer

I’ve struggled with having a consistent prayer life for as long as I can remember. I get into a routine and then something happens and suddenly I realize that I haven’t been in communication with my heavenly Father for days. Sometimes it’s all I can do to pray in short spurts – “I need You, Lord!”

God hears our prayers – all of them – the desperate pleas, the silent hopes, and the thankful jubilations. He loves to hear from His children.

My prayers have shifted in the past two weeks. My labor began in the dark and early hours of July 13th and ended at 10:28pm with the birth of our daughter, Norah.

babybaby

My prayers throughout the day were cries for help, begging to see through to the end of the pain… but as soon as I came face to face with our little light (the meaning of her name), my prayers took on a whole new dimension.

Never have I felt so completely without control. This little life is dependent upon her dad and me for everything. Her cries of hunger, exhaustion, and discomfort are for us to relieve and tend to. I do not want her to know hurt or pain. I want her to stay safe in my arms, forever.

But I know I have to relinquish this control. I must trust the Lord with the life of my child, just as I have trusted Him with my own life.

As wave upon wave of contractions threatened to leave me sobbing on that Saturday afternoon, I recited the words of Psalm 139 over and over and over again. Particularly this portion from verse 16:

“All the days ordained for me we were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

All of our days, mine and Norah’s, are in the hands of my Father. And so I turn to Him in what feels like every second of the day. I pray. I ask. I give thanks. And slowly, I learn to loosen my grasp and to trust.

feet

Thank you so much for your patience during this transition time. I hope to be back to blogging regularly in a few short weeks. In the meantime I will post here and there and share some favorite throwback posts.

Following and learning… every second of the day,

Ginger

Friday Finds: Seventy-One

I’ve mentioned my love for Lois A. Cheney’s poetry before, but today I wanted to share one of my favorites from her book “God is No Fool.” She reminds me to persevere AND rest in prayer.

seventy-one by Lois A. Cheney

Once, I prayed,
Who am I?
 
If only I knew who I was.
If only I knew what I could do.
 
And I prayed more earnestly,
Who am I?
 
If only I knew, faith would come.
If only I knew, strength would spread.
If only I knew, I could
work and serve and grow.
 
And I demanded in prayer
Who am I?
 
And he smiled,
And said,
“It is enough that I know,
Follow me.”
 
And I did
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It is enough that He knows – it must be enough! I am, plain and simply, a child of God. How refreshing. How encouraging.  How challenging. I hope and pray that your spiritual journey, wherever it is, might be rooted in Him.
 
Happy Friday!
Ginger

The Mountain

Lots of things have influenced my prayer life: books, people, liturgy, teaching, and experiences. But a teaching and experience combo on the top of a mountain in Israel stands out above the rest.

Mount Arbel is a mountain in lower Galilee with high cliffs and views in every direction. On a clear day you can see across the Sea of Galilee, to the heights of Mount Hermon and into the Golan Heights.

The journey to the top was intense. We fought our way up Mt. Arbel, removing layers of clothes as we entered the low-lying clouds. The hike kept us panting, but the scenery took my breath away. I chatted with my fellow hikers in between gasps, totally unaware of where our journey was taking us. But eventually we reached the top. If I close my eyes I can picture that first look: windy, chilly, rolling dark clouds, the Sea of Galilee, and tiny villages dotting the entire landscape.

We bundled back up and sat down. (I love that… went up on a mountain and sat down… to pray. Sounds familiar.)

We were reminded of the strenuous hike taken to reach this quiet place, and the journey that Jesus would have taken to get away from the crowds.

“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Luke 5:15-16)

eremos topos – solitary/quiet place – in Hebrew: desolate or deserted.

“Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve—designating them apostles…” (Mark 3:13-14)

Jesus quite possibly spent the night on this solitary mountain top and then called His disciples. I found myself straining to grasp the lesson our trip leader was trying to communicate. It felt as though the rain and wind were doing everything in their power to keep me cold and miserable, but then something happened to change my entire attitude and perspective. It’s something so simple, and yet it’s a picture that will help me in my times of prayer for the rest of my life.

PERSPECTIVE

Our trip leader called out to a guy in our group. “Kyle, will you join me up front?”

Kyle, a tall twenty-something with red hair, obliged. Kyle was encouraged to name someone he looked up to or a celebrity he would like to meet. He chose the author J.R. Tolkien. Our leader, Matt, then took on the persona of J.R. Tolkien carrying a basket of bread for the illustration. “Kyle,” he said, “I want you to ask me for one of my loaves of bread. And by the way, you are homeless and very hungry.”

Kyle grovelled a bit reminding Mr. Tolkien just how much he loves all of his books. He went on to pay his respects, to mention favorite books, and then to gently ask, saying please several times, if he could have some bread.

Tolkien eventually relented and handed Kyle an imaginary piece of bread.

End scene.

Except then our trip leader did something else a bit unexpected. You see, Kyle’s father was also on our trip. He was called to the front and asked to stand next to Kyle.

“Kyle, ask your dad for some bread.”

Kyle put his arm around his father and asked simply and without hesitation, “Dad, may I please have some bread?”

I’ll admit, I became a little choked up as father and son hugged and shared a moment on the top of the mountain of prayer. I lost it when our guide turned to us and said, “Just ask. You aren’t speaking to the CEO of a company or an angry dictator. You are talking to your Father. Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask. Ask. And He Gives. Gives. Gives. Gives. Gives.”

Mt. Arbel has changed they way that I pray because I have a better picture of my Heavenly Father, a reminder that He invites us to connect with Him, to seek Him, and to simply ask of Him.

One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say this:

‘Father:
    May your holy name be honored;
    may your Kingdom come.
Give us day by day the food we need.
Forgive us our sins,
    for we forgive everyone who does us wrong.
    And do not bring us to hard testing.’”

And Jesus said to his disciples, “Suppose one of you should go to a friend’s house at midnight and say, ‘Friend, let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine who is on a trip has just come to my house, and I don’t have any food for him!’ And suppose your friend should answer from inside, ‘Don’t bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ Well, what then? I tell you that even if he will not get up and give you the bread because you are his friend, yet he will get up and give you everything you need because you are not ashamed to keep on asking. And so I say to you: Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.For those who ask will receive, and those who seek will find, and the door will be opened to anyone who knocks. Would any of you who are fathers give your son a snake when he asks for fish? Or would you give him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:1-13, GNT)

Just Ask.

Following,
Ginger

Chazaq – Prayer

“And there is none that calleth upon thy name that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee…” (Isaiah 64:7, KJV)

Isaiah 64:7 – “How to Pray”

(Hebrew) Chazaq;

To fasten upon; seize; be strong; courageous; obstinate; to bind; restrain; conquer; catch; cleave to; be constant; continue; force; lay hold on; maintain; play the man; wax mighty; prevail; retain; be urgent; wax strong.

All these meaning can be understood in connection with prayer. If one would stir himself up in this manner, refusing to be denied, and if he would appropriate every benefit of the promises and covenants of God which have been freely and abundantly given to men – all men, then such a person would experience answers to prayer for body. soul. and spirit. for both himself and others.

From the Dake Annotated Reference Bible, Finis Dake

“Then Abraham prayed…
Isaac prayed…
Jacob prayed…
Then Moses left Pharaoh and prayed…
Then Manoah prayed to the LORD…
Then Samson prayed…
So David prayed…
Elijah stepped forward and prayed…
And Elisha prayed, “O, LORD”…
After Job had prayed for his friends…
And Hezekiah prayed to the LORD…
Daniel gt down on His knees and prayed…
From inside the fish Jonah prayed…
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed…
Going a little farther, He fell with his face to the ground and prayed.”

(Uses of the word pray in its various forms from Genesis to Revelation.)

Recently I have been thinking, praying, discovering, and learning what prayer does and could look like in my life. I’m looking forward to learning together this week.

Following,
Ginger

Chips, and salsa, and ranch… oh my.

My favorite food has changed over the years.  When I was younger it was definitely ribs.  I still love ribs, I just can’t eat them too often.  My teeth need a break, and so does my waist.  If pressed, my answer now might be shrimp, but it’s too easy to get bad seafood in the middle of the desert.  So for the last five years my response to “What’s your favorite food?” has been chips and salsa AND ranch.  Go ahead, raise your eyebrows.  But I dare you… mix the ranch and the salsa, dip your chip, and then get back to me.  I love it.  But this is also a very, very dangerous delicacy to love.  I am notorious for eating multiple baskets of chips and salsa prior to the arrival of my meal at restaurants.  By the time my food arrives I’ve filled up on carbs and don’t have room for any of the things my body actually needs.  Tortilla chips may fill me up for a while, but they certainly won’t satisfy or sustain me for long.

I may have a new obsession. I loved falafel before Israel, but now I might be mildly addicted and on the hunt for a hole-in-the wall place to serve it up hot and fresh out of a FRYER. So not great for me. But soo good. Oh. My. Goodness. NOM. NOM. Darn you, fried chickpeas!

Isaiah 55:2 reads, “Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”

I find it interesting that we are to LISTEN in order to eat what is good. That tells me that God’s Word is food for my hungering soul.  My friend Lauren reminds me that God’s portion isn’t stingy! Forget the picture of stale bread and dirty water. Throw that image out of your mind. God’s Word is compared to good food and the richest of fare! It’s filling, pleasureful and overflowing. Why would a God who LOVES to give good gifts fill us with anything less?

“Whom have I in heaven but you? 
   And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 
My flesh and my heart may fail, 
   but God is the strength of my heart 
   and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26, NIV)

This world is full of some amazing diversions, but we know in our hearts there must be more than simply drinking coffee and following celebrity gossip. Jesus said in John 10:10 He has come to bring the abundant life.  We choose everyday whether we will fill up on carbs or make our way to the Banquet table that holds the real feast.

I want to feel the way about God’s Word that I do about food. I want to crave it, thirst for it, hunger after it. It’s not just satisfying… it’s so good for me.

I’m so thankful He loves to answer this prayer: Lord, let me love your Word. If your appetite still hasn’t been wet by the Word, can I challenge and invite you to join me and pray this prayer today?

Hungry,
Ginger