When we hide from God for a while.
I have been more sad than usual.
Not sure why. Nothing tragic is happening, but as Davey Blackburn says, sometimes it’s not the big things that get you down, but “1,000 paper cuts.” Lots of good things are happening in my life too, so I have been a bit embarrassed and even apologized to God for being sad. Recently I chose to muddle in my sadness for a while instead of taking it to God right away. I chose to live a powerless life in my own strength instead.
Just wasted a week feeling sad.
Near the end of the mopey week I am referencing, I started missing Francis Chan. Every once in a while I miss some teacher’s voice and I go find them on the internet and listen for a while. On this particular night I turned on a video of Francis and his wife, Lisa, speaking together about their book on marriage, You, Me and Forever. (It is a FABULOUS book. I highly recommend.) In this particular video, Francis talked for 15 minutes and then Lisa took over.
She. Took. Over.
She talked about how God is the only one who can fill our cup, not our spouse.
Starting at 20:28, Lisa shares All of our issues start spiritually. So when you are lacking, when you are struggling, when you find yourself overwhelmed, first go to the Lord. Don’t run to the counselor, to the friend, to anyone else.
Lisa re-tells an illustration a woman taught her years ago. Imagine you are invited to a banquet table. You are invited to come in and eat. We are talking about God here, she says, so God has invited you to a table filled with forgiveness, grace, love, wisdom, kindness, and mercy. And God says you can take as much as you need, as often as you need.
But we take a pass at sitting at the table…
This convicted me. Ouch! I thought of what I have muttered as I passed by God’s table where the feast is laid out.
- Nope, I don’t have time.
- I have too much to do.
- I will get some others things done first and then come back this afternoon.
- Nope, I am too sad and don’t feel like crying right now.
- Nope, I don’t know where to begin, so I won’t start.
- Nope, I would rather eat ice cream.
Or how about this ridiculous one?
- Nothing major is happening today so I can just go through the familiar motions.
Like we don’t need God every hour of every day! Like we don’t want to enjoy our relationship with the Creator of heaven and earth every hour of every day!
And we wonder why we are empty.
Lisa continued the same illustration by sharing the visual of someone crawling under the table gathering crumbs from those seated at the table.
Ouch! Convicted again.
This happens when instead of seating myself at the table, I gather inspiration or knowledge from someone else who is seated at the table. I listen to a podcast or sermon. I attend a Bible Study or call a Christian friend, or turn on Francis Chan. (Ha!) There is nothing wrong with any of these except I know when I am participating in activities because I am hiding from the feast God offers and am trying to borrow relationship with God from others — gathering tidbits to tell or tweet to others (Oh, that’s a wonderful idea. Present a false image).
God says, “No, YOU sit at the banquet table too!
Thank you for the reminder, Lisa. Thank you for the reminder, God. After viewing this video that evening I was at the banquet table the very next day. I took my seat once again and God didn’t even call my name out for any of you to hear. God let me slide right in, and I told Him I was sad. It all tumbled out in pieces and in scrambled fashion but He understood it all anyway.
Have you ever hidden from God because you just didn’t know where to begin?
I received all I needed. And miracles happened. Truly. I saw God operating everywhere all day long. We were back in partnership again because I was once again connected to the Vine.
We cannot borrow God from anyone else. We must dine with Him ourselves.
Picture Explanation: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. (Isaiah 55:1-2)
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