Thursday, September 15, 2011
Let's start at the beginning and I will tell the story the way I see it in my mind.....
She's running slightly late, thinking of all the parts of her day left undone - the laundry, the errands - even lunch, which never found time to be eaten. She drives quickly, but not so quickly as to alert any official - afterall, she is married to one of them, and what would be more embarassing than being pulled over by her own husband? The driveway to the place to donate blood is not that full - not many people wanting to give a part of themselves - their life-blood in the heat of the afternoon. She walks over to where everything is set up. A little bit of paperwork to fill out and meanwhile she is thinking about what she should cook for supper and her son fighting someone else's war....
The nurse beckons her, letting her know they are ready. She feels drained, and wishes she had found time for lunch, but there is so much left to do, to give, to accomplish, and she just. keeps. moving.
It's all been done many times before. Reclining on the medical bed - the nurse unwraps the new needle. Cold alcohol sterilizes the future wound - skin broken open to give life. The nurse ties elastic, and my friend watches her find a vein and pierce God's covering. A slight burn, and the elastic is untied, the red cell-water flowing into a container - to be poured into another someday who is empty.
She begins to feel faint, her energy flowing out with the blood. Her body feels hot and cold at the same time, skin sweaty and clammy and the world seems unsteady. Thoughts that once were clear become muddled and all she can focus on is trying to stay alert, coherent, trying not to faint. The nurse asks her to lie down and offers sugar, but she knows that an undernourished body will not be restored with anything but true food. She rejects the temporary sugar serum and asks for sustaining bread and meat.
She thinks she is strong enough and rises, only to sit down again - her body still weak. After a few minutes her mind begins to freshen, and she thinks about her body and its need for fuel. The desire of the belly for that which sustains. Had she been fed - had her flesh been full, she would have been more prepared to pour it out for others.
The spirit is the same. It must be fed. It must nourish with food that sustains, that is long-lasting. Brief uses of spiritual substitutes may invigorate for minutes, but true invigoration comes only through the bread of His word, a meal with the meat of scripture -chewing long and hard. We try to give to others without being fed, and we become weak ourselves. We must first seek the meal - seek His Word, and then seek to serve.
He equips us to give more than we would have to give on our own.
When we give of our own, we pour out ourselves and are emptied. But when we hunger for Him and are satisfied by Him alone, that which we give to others is just the overflow. It pours out of us, our souls still brimming full of His sweet mercy and grace.
Are you being fed or are you famished? ...................
"The LORD is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.
The LORD upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing." Psalm 145:13-16
Fill yourself with that which will satisfy, that which will sustain......... Jesus
At the foot of the cross,