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Friday, July 01, 2005

My Daily Bread

"Give us this day our daily bread," Christ teaches us to pray in Matthew 6. And earlier in the book, our Lord tells us that "man does not live by bread alone" (Matt. 4:4, quoting Deuteronomy 8:3). Somehow while reflecting on these two verses earlier this week, I realized that I had been spiritually starving myself recently.

How, you ask, have I been spiritually starving myself? It was really very simple: I was not feeding myself, even though I had ample food -- and good food -- available. It wasn't a case of hunger strike; it was more a case of neglect. A silly way to starve myself, for sure: I am like a beggar who sits in front of a king's feast and finds myself more interested in the cockroaches who are fighting beneath the table.

Upon leaving Philadelphia, I left more than humidity and traffic behind. I also left a community that was so saturated with grace that I was seeing and hearing the Gospel almost every time I turned around. To return to my food analogy, it was like a continual buffet of delicious and nutritious food, so that eating healthy was never a burden and I certainly didn't need to take any vitamins.

This isn't to say that my friends in Philadelphia weren't sinners or there weren't challenges while I was in school; nor is it to say that the Gospel isn't working powerfully in the people I encounter every day in Montana. In fact, just the opposite is true. But somehow I fell into a rut (however briefly) of neglecting God's Word, of not getting ample portions of my daily bread in order to sustain me as I face the challenges of beginning a new life.

One of the blessings that I see in my life now - not just for this week but for the long haul in my Christian life - is the very thing that sustained me in Philadelphia is what must help me in Montana, and that is the Christian community. There is no such thing as a lone ranger Christian -- just like one person doesn't produce all of his own food, we have to learn to rely on each other for our "dietary supplements." God's Word must be primary in our lives, but our fellow pilgrims are the ones who will help us put it in its proper place.

I praise God for the fellowship of my Christian brothers and sisters who (knowingly or unknowingly) offer me food for my soul. And I also praise God that he has helped me to see that I need to be intentional about getting my daily bread and finding people with whom I can feast together on the riches of God's grace.

6 Comments:

At 10:39 AM, July 01, 2005, Blogger rs said...

Molly,

I thought you had really starved! Glad your back and blogging. Have you travelled to Europe yet?

 
At 10:58 AM, July 01, 2005, Blogger Christian said...

Great comments Molly, I feel the same way.

It's very interesting how during the busiest of times (school, work, finals, deadlines), I always think "if it just gets slower I'd have a lot more time for God". And then when it does get slower, I find myself spending still less time with him (sleep, recreation, etc). Not that those are bad things, but it seems to illustrate that the real issue keeping me from God is not what's outside (my circumstances) but rather what's within (my love of self rather than him).

Marla quoted C.S. Lewis in this regard yesterday: "The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own' or 'real' lifeā€”the life God is sending one day by day; what one calls one's 'real life' is a phantom of one's imagination. This is what I see at moments of insight: but it's hard to remember it all the time."

 
At 12:13 PM, July 01, 2005, Blogger Marla said...

Christian--thanks for the link and for introducing me to your blog. I'll have to add it to Intellectuelle (my new team blog) and my own blogroll when I get a chance (things are a little hectic at the moment).

 
At 3:53 PM, July 01, 2005, Blogger Molly said...

No, I wasn't starving ... maybe just hibernating! And my mission trip (to Central America) actually was cancelled, so I'm spending the vast majority of my summer in MT. Which is fine by me!

 
At 6:49 AM, July 07, 2005, Blogger Rachel said...

This idea of our Christian brothers and sisters helping to hold us up and preach the gospel to us is one of the things I am afraid of as we prepare for church-planting. When we go, we will be concentrating on meeting unbelievers and purposely eschewing Christian relationships because they will take time away from our purpose there. All this to say that we will need to be extra diligent to stay in the Word and be encouraged by faraway friends.

 
At 9:07 AM, July 07, 2005, Blogger rs said...

Rachel has a great point here. It re-emphasizes the team approach in my mind and shows how necessary it will be for us to preach the gospel to one another daily.

 

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