She was so distraught, in such deep sorrow that she wasn’t even able to eat. Her husband always served her the choicest cut of meat during the feast for the yearly sacrifice. For he loved her greatly and favored her over his second wife even though she wasn’t able to give him what he always hoped for – a son. This was a very dark time in her life.
I’ve been there, too. But in a different way. I’ve been in such deep sorrow that I wasn’t able to eat from the word of God. I know I wasn’t offering life – how could I? I wasn’t even living myself. And now, I wonder about you? Are You Offering Life? Or Are You Sitting in a Puddle?
Maybe you know exactly what I’m talking about. Maybe you are there now. In that dark place. And you haven’t eaten in so long – your soul has not been satisfied with the choice meat of the word of God.
Hannah Longs For Life
Our story continues…one of my favorite Bible stories – Hannah’s story. Her brokenness and desperation resonate deeply within my soul. It all sounds so familiar to me.
She goes to the tabernacle of the Lord with her petition. Just reading the experience is incredibly moving. She was ‘in bitterness of soul’ and she ‘wept in anguish’, begging God to give her a son. To breathe life into her womb.
Yeah, I know that plea for life. Life for my desiccated, fractured heart. Life for my parched, wilted spirit.
“O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant” LIFE, then I will give that LIFE to the LORD all the days of my life.
I was living in such darkness.
The death of my heart and spirit.
I Was Created For Life
This goes completely against what I was created to do as a woman.
I was created to give birth. And I’m not just talking about the physical birth of offspring. I’m talking about spiritual life. Breathing life and encouragement into the hearts of others.
But we can’t really do that if we are remaining in darkness ourselves, can we?
I wonder how many of us have forgotten this precept of the Christian life. We’ve forgotten the truth that death and darkness no longer have power over us when we are walking in the Light of Jesus Christ. Romans 8 tells us that we are no longer under condemnation because we walk with Him.
But many of us still live like we are under the power of sin and darkness, under condemnation.
Are You On The Path? Or In The Puddle?
As I was praying about this post last night – praying about what to write – I got this image:
There is a narrow, dirt path that I am walking on. I am freely walking, enjoying the fellowship of others. We are all just walking together joyfully, encouraging one another. And every now and then, a muddy puddle appears on the edge of the path. And every time there is a puddle, there is someone sitting in it. They aren’t really doing anything – just sitting there in the muck, head down. Then there is Jesus, beckoning all of us – those of us who are walking. And those who are sitting in the filth. Those of us who are walking, hear Him and we are drawn to Him. But the people sitting the mud puddles don’t take notice of Him. They are so focussed on the dirt that has started to dry on their bodies. They can’t stop staring at themselves.
Those of us who are walking the path try to entice the puddle people to join, but they don’t hear us either. We know they don’t have to stay there – we know only because we once sat in those puddles. We chose to sit there and we chose to get up. When we decided to stop focusing on our flesh and start living by the Spirit, that’s when we chose to rise up and begin walking, our eyes focussed on our Savior.
You Were Created For More
We were created to give birth to something. We thrive on offering life to others. Like today when I encouraged that young mom whose preschooler bolted around the hallways of church and she was exasperated and exhausted – and probably embarrassed – from trying to contain this tiny tornado. I told her my oldest used to be like that, too. She was relieved to know I wasn’t judging her and that it does get better! As she wrestled her daughter to the floor…
Or when another young mom comes into church late and says that her tire is flat. I pray for her during the sermon and seek her out afterward to make sure she is ok.
Are You Missing Out?
I don’t share those stories with you because I’m ‘all that’ – trust me, I don’t think I am and I proved exactly that all last week. The reason I share is only because I know I could not have done those things today if I was still sitting in that stupid puddle focussed on my own dirt-covered flesh. I know that when I was so bound up in spiritual bondage, life was not flowing out of me.
And I was missing out on something great.
My friends, get up out of that puddle. You’ve been sitting there long enough, don’t you think?
Fight for your freedom. Fight for the freedom and LIFE that Jesus gave His life for.
No, it won’t be easy. It won’t be quick.
It will be hard. We will get messy – washing that mud off always is.
But that freedom, that opportunity to be used by God to breathe LIFE into others. Oh, my sisters, there is nothing like it!
He is standing there right beside you, offering His hand to help you up. But you need to take your eyes off of yourself and look at Him. And then grab His hand and pull yourself up. And then take your first steps to join the rest of us. Join us in walking in life and truth. The Light of His love.
We are waiting.
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