Monday, June 11, 2007

The Bread Of Life

Charlie forced me out of the house Saturday night. I had been consumed with Olivia's care for so many days and I was beginning to show signs of both cabin fever and MFS (Mommy Fatigue Syndrome). The Strawberry Festival has been going on this weekend and the bookstore our church is starting had their grand opening this weekend as well. He encouraged me to go down to the bookstore and check it out. So, I put on some clean clothes, my birks and headed out the door. On my way there, I could smell my favorite fair food--funnel cakes (I know, I know. No comments, please, on how incredibly unhealthy funnel cakes are. Keep reading...). I decided I would make a brief appearance at the bookstore, grab a funnel cake and head home. I didn't want to be gone very long in case Olivia woke up and needed something.

The night air felt so good and fresh after being cooped up too many day in a row. As I was crossing the street, I saw my good friend Linda and we decided to go to the bookstore together. As we walked in, we were greeted by the sound of believers worshipping the Lord. Towards the back of the store, several young men were leading worship as people mixed and mingled and fellowshipped together. The sight and sound of them was music to my ears and a welcome sight for my sore eyes. Many people stopped to ask about Olivia and to offer encouragement--so like our body to be so encouraging! Eventually, Linda and I found seats near a couple of women from our Bible study and sat down to enjoy worship.

Maybe an hour passed by before I thought to check my watch. It was getting late but I wasn't tired anymore. The Lord has been quietly but methodically restoring my soul. I briefly thought about my other reason for coming downtown--the funnel cake, but I didn't want it anymore. I was filled with spiritual food, the Bread of Life. As always, the Lord saw my hunger and not only met it but left me fat and satisfied with the Bread only He can give.

"Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." John 6:47-51

Jesus gave His body, His life, His flesh, so that I might live forever. This bread never gets old or stale or moldy. It is what my soul hungers for. It is what my spirit can feast on. Anything else won't ever provide eternal satiety.

Yesterday, Olivia wasn't eating very well. I had prepared all her favorite foods, trying to tempt her with something that might give her the nourishment she desperately needs. I found myself feeling frustrated as she threw one thing after another to the floor, crying "No!" I got on my knees beside her high chair and poured out my heart to God. I found myself saying at one point:

Why, God? Why won't she eat what is right in front of her? All she has to do is reach out and take it? Why won't she eat the things that will make her body well?!

And I felt the Holy Spirit responding:

Why, Jen? Why won't you eat what is right in front of you? All you have to do is reach out and take it? Why won't you eat the thing that will make you whole?

It's a good reminder. I do choose to eat the Bread of Life most times. But, there are still times (too many, I admit) when I choose to be satisfied with something far inferior. Jesus is all I need.
Thank You, Jesus, for reminding me that you will fill me and nourish me. Thank You for the many times this last week when You brought me to the table to feast. Forgive me for the times when I have refused to eat. Help me to hunger and thirst for You alone. In Your precious name...Amen.