Revelation happens when your intellect and spirit collide. Greater meaning attaches to something you already know when the Holy Spirit delivers the shock of tribulation – even when the challenge isn’t yours. But it could be…
I was two hours into my day and starving. Watering 5,000 square feet of grass seed in North Texas spring winds is a chore. Every morning I pop up and run out to set sprinklers. Then reset them. And do it again until the job is finished. Winds constantly change directions making me solve endless geometric puzzles to get the water where needed. Writing and meeting with the Lord fills the time between trips to the hill where sprouted seed promises a future carpet of lush grass.
My immediate need was food. Something with fuel value so I could concentrate on whatever God brought when I sat in my study chair. Two slices of frozen pizza left over from dinner night before last presented a brilliant option – a one-handed meal I could gulp down and be on my way. Wrapping one in a paper towel I returned to my office.
Multi-tasking, I resumed my continuous conversation with the Lord in mid-chew. I love pizza, cold or otherwise. Thick crust and crisp onions registered conscious delight. This was good!
The Holy Spirit Comes in Unexpected Ways
Then the Holy Spirit brought something to my remembrance. I stopped chewing.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
Last night at Bible study a young woman asked for prayer for family in Venezuela. They can’t get medicines for diabetes and high blood pressure. After standing in line for 6-12 hours the weekly bag of food might contain a scrawny chicken, tortilla-like bread, and one or two vegetables. That’s it. There’s no second trip to the store. Black market aspirin costs a hundred dollars. Food simply isn’t available.
Every member of her family is a professional. Engineers, etc. They used to live the good life. The good life ended.
Did I thank God for my slice of cold pizza? I didn’t remember. With pizza remnant in one hand I lifted the other in gratitude for the bounty I took for granted.
My husband and I routinely thank God for our meals – at least we say the words. Some folks “bless the food.” The food doesn’t need blessing – it IS the blessing. God deserves every ounce of gratitude we can muster. Today’s revelation addresses the difference between gratitude and GRATITUDE.
God provides all we need. Jesus specifically made the point in Matthew 6:31-34. I’m grateful that He does. As a result I don’t have to worry. And I don’t.
But neither do I appreciate as much as I ought.
Genuine Gratitude for God’s Grace
I quit multi-tasking to savor every remaining morsel. To millions of hungry people my hurried-up thoughtless meal would be a banquet.
It would be a gift to that family in Venezuela. Or middle-east Christians evicted from home with no hope for provision of any kind. A friend asked for prayer for such a family she’s known for years. Parents and kids balance the need to hide with the greater need for food. Recently they were sent packing. I don’t know what happened afterwards.
There are levels of gratitude yet to explore. God brings them to us in proper season. This is my season.
“There, but for the grace of God, go I.”
Each of us remembers mistakes we made that ended well. The unknowable grace of God is real for me. Why was I spared when others were not? The answer is God’s grace and His plan. Intellectually I knew that food is a blessing from God. That head knowledge made its way into my spirit this morning.
Why is our cup so sweet when others is bitter?
- Wives of police officers suddenly become widows.
- Lucrative careers end abruptly.
- Easy Street becomes Hard Time Alley in one unexpected turn.
In the day of prosperity be joyful,
But in the day of adversity consider:
Surely God has appointed the one as well as the other
No one plans for devastating change. Yesterday’s world disappears without warning. Jesus promised to keep us from the evil one. He did not promise continued prosperity and limitless food.
Christians in a Changing World
We are in a time of preparation. The season is changing. Tomorrow is a mystery. Fast food and stocked shelves aren’t guaranteed. I won’t multi-task the next time I reach for a quite bite. I’ll make time to experience gratitude. A slice of cold pizza is beyond the reach of many. Taking prosperity for granted is easy.
Entitlements aren’t just government spending programs. It also describes spoiled Christians. It describes me.
Your last day will come. There will be a final meal. The folks in Venezuela had what we now enjoy. Middle-east Christians used to be secure. Our time may come.
Drink the cup of sweetness with joy and the bitter in peace.
Our church plans to fill boxes to send to Venezuela. Prayer is the only way to help the displaced and vulnerable family in the Middle East.
This is what the Lord brought me when I sat down this morning. Be good stewards of all we possess. Be grateful. Pray for others, and seasons change.
What has the Holy Spirit brought to your remembrance lately?