Sunday, March 06, 2011

Golden Udders and Family Mantras

Day 10
God the provider.

So there’s this scene in Hebrew scripture. The children of Israel have been slaves to the Egyptians for 400 years. Moses finally gets the go ahead to “let my people go” and the land is covered in locusts and smells like dead frogs and oh yeah the first born of all the Egyptian families had just been wiped off the planet. And then there’s the horses and chariots chasing the entire nation of Israel to the banks of the Red Sea. You have to wonder what’s going through their mind at this point. What kind of things are they praying? Dear God, please break the chariot wheels, kill the horses, or and get us the gahena out of here.

You know what they probably weren’t praying? “Dear God, please open up the sea, part it in the middle, let us pass through on dry land, and collapse the waters on our enemies”. I would love to hear the conversations, “Dude did you see that? That Moses guy just held up his hands and a stick and boom! … I didn’t even know that was an option!

And that’s what happens with God, when our backs against the sea and it seems like He’s lead us out of slavery and into our emanate demise, He blows the roof of our understanding of possible and does something completely amazing. Let’s fast forward a bit in the story. Moses, whose arms are probably a little tired from all of that staff holding, is walking down the mountain with a couple of stone tablets that were probably pretty heavy. His face is literally glowing from being in the presence of God. He’s making his descent, and as soon as he’s below the cloud level the first thing he sees is a bunch people dancing around a gold cow.

Sound familiar? No sooner does God do something amazing in our lives, something we didn’t even believe was possible, in way that’s so unique and creative, do we turn around and start bowing down before the golden udder. Yet Jesus when teaching the people how to pray said, “give us this day our daily bread”. Which is kind of an illusion to the manna that fell from the sky each morning while the Moses and the people were wandering around in the wilderness. The term manna literally means something like, “whatever it is” or “whatchamacallit”. Jesus after feeding the crowd with the loaves and fish was talking to one of the many who began following him. The follower was asking for another miracle and Jesus basically says, “you don’t need more bread to be multiplied or manna from heaven, I am the bread of life”.

Praying for our daily bread is kind of like saying to God, “I trust you to send a daily supply of “whatever it is” down to provide with just enough “bread of life” for me today”. I honestly think we are told to pray that way, not so we can remind God, but really to remind us. We have this saying in our family, we have many sayings in our family to be honest. But this particular one comes to mind. Whenever things get tight, and we’re trying to make it through, someone always says, “well it’s tough, but we’ll make it one day at a time.” So far we have.

Jesus is teaching the sermon on the mount and he goes through all this stuff about not worrying on tomorrow, even the lilies are clothed in glory, if God takes care of them He’ll take care of you...and so on. And then He says seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness and these things (food, clothing, shelter) will be added unto you. Knowing God, following God, Loving God, it’s all simple it’s just not easy. Saying we trust God and actually trusting God is like convincing a kid they love vegetables. We pinch your nose and go for it. And it's hard every time. But it’s always good for you and eventually you grow up, you mature in God and the things that were scary before aren’t so scary anymore. Sure there will always be new things that come along, but perfect love casts out all fear.

Trust with god is like trust with any other relationship. It takes time, and that’s okay. So one day at a time we get to know God more and one day at a time we learn to believe that He’s a man of his word. A man who loves us and has our best interest in mind. Even when it seems like we are leaving one miserable situation for another. Hold on. Love is patient, it believes all things, and hopes all things. Love God.

Stories of Red Sea and Commandment Exodus 14 and Exodus 20

25When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’c”
32Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

Matthew 6 (same chapter as Lord’s Prayer)
25“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27“And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28“And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin,29yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31“Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32“For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

1 comment:

Kathleen Moulton said...

I loved this. It's really, really good. does take time and so do alot of things that we are impatient with ourselves about. At 50ish years old I finally realized that a) I was harder on myself than God was; b) That God loves me no matter what.

Once that's realized then it changes everything. And it took 35 years for me. And it took being backed into a corner without anyway to help myself when it all came crumbling down. That would be God's working all things out for good.

Nothin' like having God pull you out of devastation to show you He can be trusted.