Friday, April 4, 2014

Hungry

Our dear friend Stephen left yesterday. He is on his way back to the US. But the day before he left he shared a passage of Scripture with our team at our morning prayer time which really resonated with me. He read from John 6. Here are a few excepts: 

Jesus said to them, " I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.... For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day." (John 6:35&40)

As Stephen shared about how we feel our need for food as a tangible thing, we can also recognize our need for Jesus several times throughout each day. Lately this is how I have been living, feeling my very tangible need for God. As I struggle in daily life, trying to trust God with my anxieties and the needs of so many around me, I have found that the thing that comforts my soul is time talking with God and reading His Word, the Bible. 

At various times in life I have struggled with the discipline of a daily "quiet time." It has been hard to "make time in my day" to read God's Word. But recently, I wake feeling like I absolutely need to read the Bible and pray. I realize my dependence on God as much, or more, than I need food. I remember about 7 years ago, I was going through a difficult time. I could not settle my mind at night. For weeks, the only way I could fall asleep was that David would read God's Word to me. It would quiet my mind and encourage my heart. While I cannot say that I enjoy trials, I can say that in the midst of struggling, God has been gracious to show me my need and dependence upon Him. 

Before that season of struggle, I remember hearing a worship song that disturbed me. Many of you have probably sung these words, "And I... I'm desperate for you. I... I'm lost without you." My initial gut reaction was, "That sounds pretty pathetic." I acknowledged that it was probably theologically accurate, but I still felt uncomfortable singing those words. I like to be strong. But God in His grace to me, continues to break me free of my desire for independence and personal strength. He reminds me that "His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Corinthians 12:9) Over time, I have begun singing about being desperate for God wholeheartedly. I have grow to love the hymn, "I Need Thee Every Hour." Here are some of the words:

I need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord;

No tender voice like Thine can peace afford.

I need Thee, O I need Thee;  Every hour I need Thee; O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.

I need Thee every hour, stay Thou nearby;
Temptations lose their power when Thou art nigh.

Refrain

I need Thee every hour, in joy or pain;
Come quickly and abide, or life is in vain.

Refrain

I need Thee every hour; teach me Thy will;
And Thy rich promises in me fulfill.

Refrain

I need Thee every hour, most Holy One;
O make me Thine indeed, Thou bless├Ęd Son.

Refrain

Interestingly, the song that I did not like, back when I was "strong" (haha) also has these words from John 6:

"This is my daily bread, your very Word, spoken to me." 

I am learning to live dependent on God's Word. I'm sure this is an ongoing life lesson. But if you are struggling with making time for God, just ask him to break you a bit. As Jesus said, the healthy don't need a doctor, but the sick do. He did not come for those who think they are "righteous" but to call sinners. (Mark 2:17) It is still uncomfortable for me to feel weak and broken, and to see my utter dependence upon God, but he is using that uncomfortable state to draw me near and encourage me with His Presence and His Word. 

I just want to clarify one point. I don't "get" God by what I do, reading His Word and talking to him in prayer. He has brought me into his family by the work of His Son, Jesus Christ, through faith. That is a gift that I do nothing to earn. (Ephesians 2:8-9) and nothing can seperate me from that love (Romans 8:38-39) But in His grace to me, He reveals himself to me through His Word, the Bible and in times of prayer. I am comforted by his love when I read about and remember His mercy to broken, desperate, hungry people like me. I pray that you will know that mercy and grace too! 

No comments:

Post a Comment