Monday, November 21, 2011

Nourishment is More than Food

Yes They're All Ours: Nourishing November

Have you ever worked hard and made a nice meal for your family, only to encounter the following scenario -- Your little daughter turns up her nose and says, "Yuck!  I don't like _______!"  Your older son bounds out the door yelling, "I'm late for work, Mom! Studying with a friend after work, so I'll grab a burger later."  Then, another son says, "No time to eat, Mom, I'm off to basketball practice.  See you later!"  Then your husband sends you a text saying, "Working late. Eat without me."


Before you know it, you're left alone (or maybe with just the baby of the family) to eat a nice meal that you spent a lot of time and energy preparing in order to nourish the bodies and relationships in your family.  How do you feel?  Sad?  Lonely?  Hurt?  Rejected?  

I wonder if that's how Jesus feels when we neglect spending time with Him and acquiring nourishment from His Word.  He has provided everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), but sometimes we find His Word dry or boring or too difficult to understand, so we turn our focus to more exciting things (like connecting with our friends on Facebook or reading our favorite blogs).  Other times, we're just too busy or harried to stop and sit at the feet of Jesus, receiving the nourishment He has prepared for us.  Many times we stumble through life with spirits that are starved or malnourished, when God has set a banquet table for us and delights in filling our cups to overflowing. 

That's why Jesus clearly stated that He is the Bread of Life and the Living Water.  Just as our bodies hunger and thirst for physical sustenance, our spirits also hunger and thirst for God.  Sometimes, we seek spiritual nourishment from counterfeit sources, which never satisfy our emptiness.  God, Himself, is the only thing that truly satisfies our longing hearts!

One resource that has helped me nourish my relationship with the Lord is the amazing devotional book, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.  Consider this entry from August 19th:

"I continually call you to closeness with Me.  I know the depth and breadth of your need for Me.  I can read the emptiness of your thoughts when they wander away from Me.  I offer rest for your soul as well as refreshment for your mind and body.  As you increasingly find fulfillment in Me, other pleasures become less important.  Knowing Me intimately is like having a private wellspring of Joy within you.  This spring flows freely from my throne of grace so your Joy is independent of circumstances.  Waiting in My Presence keeps you connected to Me, aware of all that I offer you.  If you feel any deficiency, you need to refocus your attention on Me.  This is how you trust Me in the moments of your life."

Here is another inspiring entry from August 16th:

"Meet me in early morning splendor.  I eagerly await you here.  In the stillness of this holy time with Me, I renew your strength and saturate you with Peace.  While others turn over for extra sleep or anxiously tune into the latest news, you commune with the Creator of the universe.  I have awakened in your heart strong desire to know Me.   This longing originated in Me, thought it now burns brightly in you.  When you seek My Face in response to My Love-call, both of us are blessed.  This is a deep mystery, designed more for your enjoyment than for your understanding.  I am not a dour God who discourages pleasure.  I delight in your enjoyment of everything that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable.  Think on these things and My Light in you will shine brighter day by day."

Have you taken time to be nourished by God's Word and Presence today??

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