Tuesday, September 23, 2014

People need people....filling our hungry souls...

ok, so my friend Misty won....

If you follow me on social media, then you saw my request for help on a blogging topic because I've been a little locked up in the writing department lately.

I truly love to sit behind the screen and type. Call me crazy, but it's like I want to just pour out into words my thoughts, beliefs and ideas. I sat down many times over the last month and found myself not able to hit the publish button on any of my writings.

I had some wonderful people suggest a topic to get my mind right again, and as soon as Misty suggested "ministering in service to people", I'm not going to lie, it kind of stung a little....but something that has been on my heart lately.

Just the other day, I asked Tim about a super sweet  and awesome single guy, that was in flight school here, that moved away several years ago. I missed his presence in our home, which was at least every Sunday (or close to it) around the table after church. You never know how much your Nana's pot roast recipe can minister to someone until you ask that person what their last meal would like to be and they answer with out a single hesitation, "your pot roast!"....

But, I'm not fully convinced it was the tender, fall apart in your mouth meat, smothered in gravy, that had him coming back for more.

I would like to think it was Jesus.

Have you ever thought about Jesus' ministry with people? I'm mean- with people....not "to" people....

I often find myself in a state of Matthew, a person out in the community, doing a service by taking peoples money. aka: Matthew, the tax collector.

Until Jesus came to him and said....follow me.

The follow me is what has been on my heart a lot lately. More so, wondering if our children have witnessed us following him.

What I mean by that is: have they witnessed us following him, when it wasn't convenient?

Have they seen love poured unexpectedly on the meek?

Have they seen forgiveness poured out on the sinner?

Have they seen us drop everything comfortable to get messy with messy people?

I have been so wrapped up in just "making it through the day" mode, over the last couple years, that I feel like I have missed a very good opportunity to show them that we need people. And through people, we see Jesus.

I feel so certain, that our perfect savior showed us a very deep passage in scripture identifying with us on what it's like when you don't have people surrounding you.

I'm talking about Matthew 4:1-11

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted[a] by the devil.After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”
Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’[b]
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’[c]
Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’[d]
Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
10 Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’[e]
11 Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.

I know a lot of you have heard me use the word "mangry" which stands for- I'm hungry, mean and angry.

I can assure you that if it were me in the above passage I would be "MANGRY"....and not sure what I'd do.... if you've ever been in that state (which I highly doubt any of us have fasted for 40 days), then I'd imagine we'd given in to Satan's temptation.

But what if we had someone in our ear encouraging us, someone in our ear speaking truth, someone beside us telling us to stand firm?? What then would we do?

I know there are "seasons" as we call them, in our life where we 'need a break', or busy lifestyles take over and you have to drop things to stay sane....trust me, I totally get that.

But, how long do seasons last? How long should they last? And do they help you or hurt you? How do you get out of that season and start a new one? It's hard for me to leave comfort. You? It's much easier for me to think about a clean kitchen after church then dishes piled high in the sink....

I believe Jesus is telling me from the above verse, to watch out. That when you go through a weak time in your life, it is never more evident that Satan will attack you in your weaknesses and try to rip you from every truth you know to be true and believe with your whole heart and soul.

I think it's safe to to remind you all that I went through a deep depression early on in our marriage, that I believe was not chemical, but self induced. When I look back at that time, I remember one vivid feeling.....I felt alone. And through that feeling, I didn't want to be around people. But that kept feeding the fire. I was in a very vulnerable state as Satan fed me lies... that encouraged me more so, to stay alone; that my feelings were valid and I didn't need anyone because they wouldn't help me....they wouldn't understand.....they truly didn't love me.....and definitely wouldn't get how I'm feeling....

Thank God, for the freedom He poured on me as I repeated something very similar to what Jesus said to him as I told him to flee from me; and I experienced the scales fall off my eyes so I could see Jesus clearly.

But what if I would have kept myself surrounded by people? What if I didn't take myself to the wilderness? What if I would have poured myself into others and taken the focus off of me and pointed it to Christ?

I remember early on in our parenting when we saw our children becoming very self focused.... I remember Tim telling them to pray for others..... to serve others.....that God would use that to take the focus off of them and direct it back to the one who deserves the glory.

I just wish I would remember this myself so many times, especially when I turn my days into survival.

So, yes, I often think that if I would lay down my selfish comforts and stretched myself to places that bring humility and grace, Jesus will shine brighter not only in other's lives but will live in me. And his power will be manifested in me as Corinthians speaks of.

Power to overcome any temptation.

That's an amazing realization.

Thankful my Nana's pot roast could be used to bring people to the table; but more thankful that we  are designed to feed off of Jesus to fill our hungry souls.

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