Friday, July 31, 2009

Spiritual Metabolism

There's been this vague picture that's been rattling around in my brain for the last couple of weeks and I'm hoping that putting it here may help me clarify the idea. I've been contemplating lately the idea of God's word being my 'daily bread' and the lessons I've learned about what it means for God to by my 'portion'. Years ago, after my first miscarriage, when we struggled for months to try to concieve again, that experience bottomed me out. I struggled with depression, fear, and disappointment. Through that dark time, the foundational truth I received from the Father was the reality of what God being my 'portion' meant. When I first thought about it, the word 'portion' seemed so small, so exact, rather disappointing - like a Weight Watchers allowment! lol But, I felt like God revealed to me that it was exactly what I needed to get through each day. I had this picture of a refugee camp type place where each person had a certain ration; an exact amount that certainly didn't seem satisfying, but would be sufficient to make it another day. And in that time, God showed me that when I felt I had nothing else to lean on, to help me through another day - He was my portion. And for many years, and through many trials, I've returned to that revelation.
Lately, God's been taking it a step further. Looking back on the refugee camp picture, I thought about a person rescued from such a camp and the process of recovery they'd have to go through. It's kinda a reverse weaning process. After being undernourished for so long, you can't just take them to a buffet and let them stuff their faces. Slowly, you'd introduce more and more while their body adjusted.
Naturally, my train of thought turned to food, which we as a family - love! Joe can eat. Like few people I've ever met - he can put away a serious amount of food. But, he stays slim. Irritating to any person who struggles with their weight, but amazing none the less. I figure that it's his metabolism and how busy he is. Because of his job - he is constantly on the move. He takes in an incredible amount, because he's constantly using it up! Through that, I felt God challenging me to jump start my spiritual metabolism. I felt like God was reminding me that it's not good enough to take in as much of Him, His presence, His word, His grace as I can. I have to use it up too! Don't sit still and get fat on this spiritual meat - burn it off! Use it! I struggled with this - thinking, "what, I'm not at a place to do missions or evangelism or leadership", and I kinda stalled. Then, last night, at small group, we were talking about (amongst other things) not underestimating the little things. And, God brought this back to my mind in relation to my spiritual metabolism. Even little things burn calories - like laughing, walking - even kissing! So, even little things can be accomplished using the energy from the spiritual meat I'm consuming. Having patience with my children, quietly serving those around me, listening and encouraging my family and friends - all of these things are only accomplished when I'm being fed! If I neglect a health diet - physically and spiritually - everything around me feels the effects! I want to be able to take in more, so I need to up my activity level! I still feel like this is a slightly fuzzy picture, and I hope that it wasn't terribly confusing to read; but I also feel like I'm being challenged and encouraged!