Greetings to the dear Southern Belleview community on this most holiest of days! Earlier this week I tweeted out this message: My prayer for this week is that I would comprehend how desperately I need this Jesus, and remember always and often.
There has been a lot of living between that tweet and this post, not the least of which was an unexpected trip to North Arkansas to be with my oldest sister during a scary time with her heart. That story seems to be ending well. The cardiologist feels they will be able to deal with the level of blockage found during the heart catheter with medicine rather than surgery. We’re all very thankful for that.
This writing finds me back home facing a mountain of work and a much shortened work week and yet, with that same request on my lips. I want to offer y’all an excerpt from a book I will have out in early 2014 and let it speak for me.
The house was still. It was just me and Connor Phillip Maher, my newest grandson. I had convinced Connor’s mommy to let me have the midnight feeding so she could get some much needed rest. Behind our rocker, the moon flooded in through the window and over my shoulder, bathing the room in a soft glow that was just bright enough to illuminate the tiny features of my newest love. My grandson was in what I fondly call “the milk coma”, that seemingly unconscious state that befalls a newborn with a full belly.
A trickle of milk escaped perfect little lips and I smiled. Oh, sure, I thought to myself. He may have milk to spare right now, but I knew that in three short hours—give or take a second— Connor would be gnawing at the burp cloth as I hurried to tuck it under his chin. And those itty bitty fingers, the ones that had only just now relaxed their grip on mine, they’d be clutching frantically for the next meal. It’s baby language for, “I want more and I don’t mean maybe.” Many years ago, the Apostle Peter used this picture of desperate dependency to lay out the believers’ growth plan.
“Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” I Peter 2: 1-3
The image speaks as clearly to us today as it must have to the first generation of Christ followers. The problem, as we’ve already been discussing, often comes along the “how-to hunger” line, but there’s yet another clue to be found in the remainder of that verse. Peter says, “If you’ve tasted the kindness of the Lord.” So, have you—tasted, I mean?
Gilbert K. Chesterton once said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.” Begin now to ask God to create in you a hunger for His word and then feed regularly on it. Your growing hunger will amaze you. (Don’t be surprised if you find a little extra nourishment dribbling from your lips, unconsciously and involuntarily, for all to see.)
I’m asking you to buy the truth of Matthew 4:4 with everything that is in you: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” There are plenty of people on this planet breathing in and out, but how many are living like God meant us to live, transformed by passion and fully abandoned to His hand? Will we be in that number? We can be. Begin by asking God to help you see the wonders of His word, and then, keep asking. Praying for God to show you wondrous things from His Word is to acknowledge that there is more to uncover between the pages of Holy Scripture than meets the casual observer’s eyes and you’re after it!
Friends of SBV, I wish for you this weekend an overwhelming case of delicious desperation.
Shellie Rushing Tomlinson lives, writes, and breathes Him in desperately from the banks of Lake Providence, LA. You can visit her at http://www.allthingssouthern.com