It was a little after one o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon, as the kid’s laid quietly sleeping, when I sensed the urge of hunger not only physically – but within my soul.
You see, most days we eat lunch together – usually picnic style on the porch or living room floor (their favorite) – or occasionally they’ll eat and I’ll read aloud, saving my plate for later – to quietly and slowly eat after they’re down (my favorite).
Yet, I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve forgotten to eat lunch altogether as I’ve hustled to complete tasks, respond back to long-awaited emails/text messages, or sit down to read or write and by the time they wake, I quickly realize that I’m famished and feel even more tired than when I first laid them down…
And this is my own fault.
I didn’t take or make the time to feed myself, first…
If you’ve ever flown on an airplane with a small child before, then you know exactly what the flight attendant always says directly to you, the parent or guardian, after explaining all of the emergency procedures to the rest of the passengers on board:
“In the case of an emergency, please make sure to secure your own oxygen mask first before assisting your child.”
Why do they specifically instruct us to do that? Because it’s vital.
How can I assist my own child in being able to receive and breathe in life-giving oxygen when I’m not receiving any at all for myself?
The same goes for just about anything in life…
We cannot lead others down a path that we ourselves have yet to walk.
We cannot describe the taste of something, no matter how delicious it may appear, unless we have first tasted it for ourselves.
And we can never expect to nourish the souls of those around us if we have not nourished our own souls, first.
We can surely try, but I’m willing to bet that we’ll end up famished and tired, with nothing valuable to give…
Jesus said, “It is written and forever remains written, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)
The Word of God nourishes our souls, unlike any other substance we can try to sustain ourselves with and unless we make it a daily point to come to Him and feed on His Word, just as we do our daily bread, we will continually find our souls hungry and malnourished.
We have to taste – and continually taste – that the Lord is good, or we’ll forget and then only hope that He is and try to convince and debate it with others.
We must truly recognize – over and over again – that He alone is the bread of life that we must daily partake of, the very One Who became broken for us – so that we could experience true wholeness for souls.
And we have to know Him – and consistently pursue knowing Him, personally and intimately as like a friend, for as long as we have life – for then we can truly understand the rest and joy that comes with relying on Him for everything.
I love how John Piper put’s it: “Jesus Christ did not come into the world mainly to give bread, but to be bread. He came not only to be useful to us, but to be precious to us.“
To all who are hungry today – may you feast upon Jesus and His Word.
For He alone satisfies our deepest hunger, our famished souls, our starving hearts…
And now it’s a little after one o’clock on a Friday afternoon, as the kids lay quietly sleeping, and I am feasting my soul full…