August 28, 2012

tiny piranhas

[Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.]

I've always liked the imagery in that verse, "and I ate them". I picture a desperate, determined, hungry, needy person. At the first chance devouring scripture, knowing that his life depends on it. So aware of his need that he literally will eat them. I know the scriptures are not encouraging people to start literally eating their bibles. I can venture a guess that you wouldn't feel anymore holy and actually just probably feel like an idiot with a stomach ache. 

But with such vivid imagery Jeremiah is obviously trying to make a point. Throughout the Bible scripture is described as life giving. And I think that's what we're suppose to see here. "Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart." There is a promise of satisfaction and joy when you're feasting on scripture. 

Father I don't have to tell you, because you know everything. But I confess that I've been feasting on many things, your word not being one of them. I've been eating up the opinions of others, words of friends or family. I've been drinking in culture, soaking up energy from its toxic promises. But most of all lately I've been wallowing, hungry, in the doorway of your banquet hall. You've welcomed me in and I can smell the delicious aroma's of your invitation. But I'm bogged down in my despair and self pity, too worn out to move. 

Jon Bloom writes on discouragement, [If we linger in discouragement it can be costly. Its sense of defeat and hopelessness saps us of energy and vision. It can consume a lot of time. It can keep us from doing what we need to do because we don’t want to face it. When we feel discouraged we want comfort, which is right to feel. But the comforts we often turn to are ways to avoid our fears rather than ways to muster our courage to face and overcome them. When this happens discouragement simply becomes sinful indulgence in unbelief, no different than indulging in lust or anger or other sins of unbelief.]

Father I want to thank you for your faithfulness to bring me out of this season of discouragement, not that it's fully gone, I don't know when it will be. It requires a daily, hourly, moment by moment fight somedays. Scotty Smith wrote a few days ago about days when it seems like you're swimming in a pool of tiny piranhas that are slowly nibbling away at your joy.  I cannot fight if I'm malnourished. I won't care to fight if I'm starving. I won't have the energy to get up and come to the table to feast if I'm not daily staying nourished. 

One of the pastors at my home church, David Smith said something in a prayer a long time ago that when we're cut by the world  we should be people who  bleed scripture, ooze the gospel. That is my prayer. Make me someone who prays before they act, listen before speak, read before they write. Make me one who needs, eats and bleeds scripture. Your grace meets me in my need, it is sweet and refreshing to my hungry soul. It's like the delicious appetizer that leads into the main course. Father I want to be like Jeremiah and depend upon scripture. I want it to be the only foundation for my joy.

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