Imagine what it would be like if you only had breakfast and then skipped all other meals in your day. No snacks…not even a glass of water. Imagine doing that for a week, among those days having some where you don’t eat at all? Think you might be hungry? How about weak?
The truth is that we need to eat throughout the day to function properly and to maintain our energy. Some nutritionists even debate that eating 3 times a day (which is typical among Americans) is not enough but that we should be eating 5-7 smaller meals in order to keep our metabolism at is best. Interesting…
“People need more than bread for their life; they must feed on every word of God” Matthew 4:4b
I was ready to walk out of work today. This is only my second week but I had made it up in my mind that I just couldn’t handle all the responsibility that came with this position nor could I handle my new boss who dealt with things exactly opposite of my former boss, who happened to also be my good friend. I was also distressed because I felt the financial pressure of clinging on to this job considering how tough the job market is right now.
I was so discouraged.
Especially because I felt that the Lord had given me this job and I happen to have a boss who believes the same thing. But why? Why would God bring me to a job that made me miserable?
I pushed back the tears and went to lunch. As I sat there with wet eyes and little hope, I prayed “Lord, I need your help!” I sat down to my meal and pulled my Bible out of my bag. I played “Bible bingo” and landed in 2 Timothy, chapter 1.
There were many verses that jumped off of the page and into my sagging soul, but the first one to really hit me said,
“It is God who saved us and chose us to live a holy life. He did this not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan long before the world began-to show his love and kindness to us through Christ Jesus.” (vs.9)
Talk about a reminder of the big picture. God has saved me!!! I get to live a holy life just because he wants to get the message to me that He loves me! Wow. I read on to Paul describing his feelings on his current circumstance of being in prison.
“…I am suffering here in prison. But I am not ashamed of it, for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him…” (vs.12)
What a challenge. Can I say that I know the one in whom I trust with complete confidence? I’d like to think that I know Him. Even more, I’d love to think that I know Him well, but does my time with Him reflect that? A few verses later Paul advises,
“With the help of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard what has been entrusted to you.” (vs.14)
The Lord has without a doubt entrusted this new job to me. I need to guard it and protect it, but with (and only with) the help of the Holy Spirit.
10 minutes later
Within 10 minutes, the Lord had taken my mind off my frustrations with my job in order to remind me of what really matters. He then challenged me to the fact that I don’t know Him as well as I could. Then he shows me that I need to protect His provision, but that I shouldn’t even think to do it alone. I need the help of the Holy Spirit.
Within the second chapter of 2 Timothy, there were some more, “Oh my goodness, could God be talking to me more directly or what?” verses:
“If we endure hardship, we will reign with him” (vs. 12a)
“Work hard so God can approve you. Be a good worker,” (vs. 15a)
“If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose” (vs. 21a)
“The Lord’s servants…must be…patient with difficult people.” (vs. 23,24)
Come on already! God must have snuck that last one in there at the last minute just to freak me out!!!
No, the truth is that God did not play any tricks on me during lunch that day. He just knew that my spirit was hungry, and that I would need a good meal to make it through the rest of my day.
A new diet
I seriously challenge you to look at feeding your spirit with the word as equally important to feeding your stomach. The reality is, is that you wouldn’t dream of eating only one meal a day for days on end. Not only because you wouldn’t want to, but because if would affect you physically. You would feel dizzy and weak, and you wouldn’t purposely do that to yourself.
So why would you do it to yourself spiritually? Jesus said that we need more that bread and that “we must feed on every word of God.” Think that perhaps God’s son would know what he’s talking about? It’s like we read verses like that and wholeheartedly agree, but our actions do not even closely reflect a true belief in that verse.
I challenge you to change that. Don’t just say that reading the Bible is important. Show with your life that it is vital to your very existence. Recognize that it is food for your soul and that a well fed spirit is far more important that a plump body. Realize how blessed we are to have the freedom to even read the Bible and that whenever we feel confused by it, we have so many resources to turn to (God, mentors, books, pastors). Remember that even Jesus studied the Scriptures to no end, recognizing the weapon and source of life that is the word of God.
I can honestly say that I look at my job completely differently now. I am grateful for it and when I have moments of frustration, I remember the words that are in 2 Timothy. If I can’t remember them off the top of my head, I slip my Bible out real quick and look them up (a sort of snack if you will). I continue to read my word at lunchtime and it gives me the fuel that I need to handle the second half of my workday. I am still in the process of disciplining myself to read in the evening as well. It is especially hard for me because I want to spend my time with my husband, but God is showing me that even a small spiritual meal in the evening will make me a better wife and that it will improve the time that I do spend with my hubby. It just makes me a better person overall. Well-nourished…healthy…full.