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alone. refreshed.

"Then the Lord said to Moses, 'I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.'" Exodus 16:4 As I laid in bed, on this dreary November morning, I contemplated. I contemplated all things normal, weird, dysfunctional, sweet, disappointing, beautiful, loving, hurtful, and mischievous. But most of all, I felt alone and needed to be refreshed. alone. I have taken a sabbatical from the "institution" of the church for a bit, in hopes of quieting my soul and getting rid of the hypocritical spiritual culture that invades our buildings of a place where we meet with others to glorify God . Before I took a break, I had come to the point where all I heard was the preaching of the effects of Redemption in human life, instead of the revelation regarding Jesus, which resulted not in a new birth (as Oswald Chambers said), but a refined spiritual culture. How can the Spirit of God witness to that? I asked myself that numerous times. I was tired of seeing a culture for Jesus but not a culture of Jesus. I am no exception, which is why I chose to quiet my soul and begin the process of lifting the cultural veil that has pervaded our society. Who was Jesus? How do I identify with his personality and make it my own? The answer is not easy, nor do I feel like I will ever arrive until at last, I will see him face to face, but the danger our culture faces is to glory in men, when we need to glory in Jesus. refresh. My soul was quiet and felt alone this morning. I have not received the blessings of marriage or children, so for me, my heart pours with the desire to give and keep giving until I have nothing left. I cannot explain it, others who are in my situation know it, but a woman's heart is precious and the desire to shelter, to protect, to love, is inbred in us and is a natural response to being a woman. But when there is no one to shelter, to protect, to love, a woman's heart grasps anything to be able to show that love, show God's heart, to be his hands and feet to whoever crosses their path. That is me. That is my heart. My heart is dying to nurture, to love, to protect, to show it to whoever He places in my life...whether it be The Salvation Army Angel Tree kids and seniors, my classroom full of kids who vie for my attention at every turn of everyday or providing a rocking chair with a comfy pad for the neighborhood cat that sits on it everyday, watching over my house, and running away as soon as I come close. I do not know the children and seniors from the Angel Tree that I got to give to, I work in a seemingly thankless job most of the time, and I do not get to pet the cat, but I have given (even if it is just a comfy rocking chair for the cat to sleep on), and I have given all of me and my heart. But this morning, I felt as if I had nothing left when I awoke. I didn't know how I would get through my day, what the day would be like, but as I lay still, quiet in my bed, I just cried out to the Lord to refresh my soul, to point my heart and my mind to him, and to look to Him in all that I did. That is when I was reminded of the nuggets of truth about God from the study I have been doing about the Israelites. I was reminded that no matter how empty I may feel, there will always be an opportunity to give more because the Lord will fill me with what I need and will never let you run dry. I have an abundance of love and peace that only he can give and that is my security in living life everyday. Just like the story of the fish and loaves and the way God provided and didn't let one go hungry, or the Israelites in the desert and how he asked them to gather only what they needed for the day, and to trust that he would provide for the next. The Israelites were provided for in abundance not in hardships. He was testing their character in the fact that they had an abundance. How beautiful that our Savior tests our character not only in the difficult times, but in the plentiful times as well. I am refreshed in knowing that everyday is a day of abundance when I trust in Him to be my strength. I will never run dry.

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