Getting the heck out of “here.” 11/2/2010. Sitting at Panera,
reading Matthew 6:31,32, and 33.
“Take no thought saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What withal (with what) shall we be clothed’? For after all those things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.”
I want to know what Chris’s favorite book in the Bible is. Then, I want to buy an old and beautiful journal (mechanically weathered, I guess) and hand write every word of that book into it.
“Take no thought.” (yes; it’s a sermonette)
What interesting directions the Lord here gives us. It’s true; we do concern ourselves greatly with the ESSENTIALS.. the matters of survival: food and water for sustenance, warmth for comfort, shelter for protection.. car insurance, home insurance and life insurance for “just in case.” And is it wrong, to give consideration to these matters, to give attention to these fundamental needs? What is the Lord telling us, when He says to “take NO thought”?
We’ll refer back to verse 32 (of Matthew chapter 6) for an (the?) answer. “After all these things do the Gentiles seek.”
In this context, Gentiles is obviously referring to unbelievers. Is the statement true? Do the unbelievers seek after “all these things”– clothing, food, water, shelter and comfort? Of course they do – but so do NON-Gentiles. So do believers. We alllll need, pursue, value, make provision for and worry about these things!
So what makes the difference?
(Bush looking Confused).
The Lord isn’t trying to state that the Gentiles wrongly need these things and that believers supernaturally don’t. Simply put, God is saying –
I know what you want, and more importantly, what you need.
I created you.
Loving me, accepting me as your Savior from the guilt and power of sin, and letting me take control of the things you can’t handle, ISN’T enough.
You need to trust Me, EVEN with the things you CAN handle – that ARE within your reach and ARE under your control.
I will feed you as faithfully as I provide food for the ravens (26). I will clothe you, JUST as I clothe the grass of the field (30), and I will provide everything that you need to be healthy and grow.
Again, verse 32, “your heavenly Father KNOWS you have need of all these things.”
God isn’t ignorant, or uninformed.. and He DEFINITELY isn’t uninterested.
God isn’t too busy for us, or too big to notice how small and frail we are, how needy and helpless we find ourselves to be.
What He is, is faithful, attentive, loving, and all-powerful. He is likened to being our ‘Father,’ and what father, even the worst, wouldn’t provide for the needs of His children – would let them suffer hunger, thirst, extreme cold or unbearable heat, if it was in his power to stop and prevent it? Thank God, in our case, it IS in His power. He is loving, and along with that love He is powerful. How many sad manifestations we have in this world of power expressed without love – power expressing the opposite of love..
Thank God, there is a remedy – a defense..
a strong tower.
Again we’ll read the blessed assurance (vs 33), “all these things shall be added unto you.”
Are any conditions given to this promise? Just before the verse just quoted we read “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and..”
So there IS something for us to do?
In verse 31, we’re told NOT to do something, and that something is WORRY (or “take thought” or “be concerned over”). Now, in verse 33, we are told TO DO something – to seek first the “kingdom of God..” to pursue God, to put Him first, to place His desires as supreme and to hold His requirements as the dear standard of our lives.
This is the condition. If we can be found faithful in following Him, we will most certainly find Him safely leading us.
Now, on a personal note.. I’ll share how God has been leading me, personally – and not just me, but my darling Christopher, my dear husband and best friend.
Well, we met, bonded for two weeks over God and music, and I left the state. We stayed in touch for 8 months via phone conversations, short text messages, heartfelt emails, and Facebook wall-posts. I broke up with my THEN boyfriend, David, realized how.. enamored, infatuated, clueless and blinded I had been.. and decided I was moving to NY for the summer to take Bible classes. On the way, I stopped by Alabama to visit Chris and some of my old friends. We quickly realized, we were meant to be more than friends. (we started dating..)
And we continued dating all throughout the summer, while I was in New York.. again, through emails, phone conversations, text messages and Facebook . During that three month period, Chris received an invitation from a Ukrainian minister to come to the country and evangelize while teaching English classes. Chris shared the prospect with me and I firmly pressed that if he were to go, I would, too. After Chris had received absolute confirmation that he and I were “hired”/ “accepted,” I packed my bags and left school immediately, so that we could, together in Alabama, make plans for our wedding ceremony and departure from the country.
We did get married.
We DIDN’T leave the country.
Plans fell through, faces changed, true intents and motives became clear: the Ukrainian minister wasn’t who he had portrayed himself to be and we had no purpose going there.
Well, here we are now. It’s the beginning of November, we’re in the infancy of Autumn, and Chris and I are living with his parents. We have been since I came down from NY. This is about the fourth month. The only thing is, for the first three months, his mom wasn’t awful.
(Yes, I can say that. This is my blog, and I’ll write the truth, I’ll type the timely greetings, I’ll CAPITALIZE on the craziness of what I’m going through).
The other day, we were confronted by his mother in the kitchen. It was sudden, unexpected, and cruel.
She yelled at us..
for ruining the stairs. (well, they aren’t ruined yet she says, but if we walk up and down them enough, as people must when their room is on the second floor, they will surely.. break).
for breaking the washer and dryer. (well, they aren’t ACTUALLY broken, she admitted.. sort of.. but if we do laundary quote FIVE TIMES A DAY ((what?)) they will).
for neglecting her daughter, Leah. (I greet the child every time I see her, which isn’t that often, as after school each day of the week she has an activity planned — one of these five: ice skating lessons (I think those are on Tuesday), piano instruction, dance class, singing practice , and play rehearsals. she’s a busy, active little girl who doesn’t need Chris and I’s constant attentions and doting).
for not “sharing” our food. (for one, they never ask.. for two, we never eat anything that they’ve bought, and that’s no exaggeration.. for three, every time Leah has asked to eat something we’ve cooked, we’ve assented.. and four, Chris and are sort of not rich right now? I’m sure she doesn’t realize that.. I mean, I am a server and he’s a cashier – I guess it would APPEAR that we’re very well off.. but in fact, we aren’t, and we take our meal planning very seriously. we buy just enough – exactly what we need, no more, no less – so unless we’re given a “heads up” that the family would like to partake in a meal we’re catering, we really won’t have “enough.”)
Anyways.. she also yelled at us for our room not being clean (I spent 3 hours cleaning it one day last week and 2 hours another day before I went into work; trying my best) and for her having to go and clean it, along with our bathroom (on that note, I said “Thank you so much– we really didn’t expect you to” and she GLARED at me and muttered that this was HER house and she wants her house CLEAN (which means changing trash bags every day, despite how much or little there is in them). Anyways, yeah, I left the house, crying. I said about five words or phrases the entire showdown, and all they were was “I’m sorry,” “I understand,” and “You’re right.”
But she wasn’t right on everything.
It ended off by her saying that maybe we could just “leave the house tonight.”
I see where Chris and I were irresponsible and could have been more helpful –
were unthoughtful, and could have showed our gratefulness more..
but the manner and timing in which she reproved, condemned, and essentially verbally SLAUGHTERED us,
and I’ll never be able to respect her the same way again.
Forgive? Why of course. But forget? Well, I know it’s ungodly, but, I don’t think I can ever forget this incident.. that manifested her dislove so deeply.
We offered to pay rent, we asked her to talk it over with her husband and get back with us.. we then asked if she would assign us chores – daily, weekly – for us to complete..
she never came through on her end. We offered and were more than willing on ours.
How are we to blame.
So here we are.
Chris and I went ‘apartment scouting’ yesterday and it was devastating to find that,
Unless our combined income, monthly, equals three times the market value of the place we’re trying to rent, we would disqualify and fail the application.
We make about 1800, and the bottom low minimum required is 2100.
Where do we go from here.
We’re praying for the Lord to guide us, sustain us, and protect us – physically, emotionally.. spiritually.
We know that this experience is meant to refine us – that it is purposed that we should grow in character, and become fashioned to the likeness of Chris; His meekness, humility, and self denial — His strong work ethic, and unresisting acceptance of being an
It is God we are to obey, and not man –
and His approbation we are to seek.
If God is for us, WHO can be against us –
the Father of the faithful, the strong for the weak?
It’s Autumn now, and you can almost feel yourself change.
Your walking out of the past, fresh from the haze.
You thought you would see clearer now,
beyond the hurt and pain..
You really thought it would be easier now,
to follow in “the way.”
It’s Autumn now, and you can almost feel the whole world change.
The colors around you, the longness of the day,..
Your legs are moving, in a direction that you hate –
But your heart is rejoicing
because you thought it’d take forever
it turns out that you made it
that forever lost it’s way.
PS, Today is my mom’s birthday. 41 I think.
Happy birthday, Mama. I love you and I miss you, .. now more than ever. You were the best mother I ever could have had – probably the best to have ever lived. You nurtured, disciplined, loved and raised a crazy, weird little girl. I’m glad she grew up to be your best friend.
I’m looking forward to January.