Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Cupboards Were Bare

One night this week as I perused the cabinets for something to eat for supper, I came up pretty short. Since Todd and the girls were gone to a swimming party, and I had other things to do, I decided that a bowl of cereal would work just fine for my nutritious dinner since it would take no time to prepare, gaining me a few extra minutes to accomplish my mental to do list. I dumped the cereal into a bowl and opened the fridge, and let’s just say I was just a tad irritated to find the spot where the milk goes completely empty. There was milk when I left home yesterday morning, but none now, so my elegant dinner plans were foiled. I resorted to a little dry cereal and went about my business. It wasn’t long before the dry cereal gave way to my stomach gnawing in hunger, which led me back to search the cupboards for a little nourishment.

The cupboards were bare.

The only thing that I could dig up at that point in time was the very last bag of microwave popcorn, so I settled for that and pretended it was a big, juicy steak complete with garlic mashed potatoes and a salad with ranch dressing. Hey! A girl can dream! Thank goodness for things like microwave popcorn, I always try to keep a little something like that on hand for appetite emergencies and that popcorn came to my rescue. In case you haven’t gotten the serious nature of my need to fill the cupboards, let me also add there was NOOOO chocolate to be found in my house anywhere and I’m pretty sure that rates up there around the twelfth commandment.

Since grocery shopping had become a dire need, it moved to the top of my to do list for the next day, and that’s where I headed right after work. As I thought about my cupboards being bare, how I needed something to fill me, it struck a chord in my mind in respect to my heart. There have been so many days throughout my life where my heart has felt hungry for something, empty, and that has always been my fault. There are all kinds of ways I can fill the cupboard of my heart with things that will spiritually nourish me, yet as I often get too busy to grocery shop, sometimes I get to busy or too lazy to stock my heart’s cabinets.

Bare cupboards in our hearts are dangerous and we – notice I say “we”, me included- are without excuse for them to become bare, that’s just what the enemy is waiting for. He sits around looking for just a moment where your heart begins to wander because it hasn’t been filled with what it needs, and then he tiptoes in, sure not to disturb you, with something that tastes sweet at first, but sooner or later will leave us sick at our spiritual stomachs. He’ll even do the “grocery shopping” for us, delivering the goods to our door step if given the slightest hint of an opportunity.

Storing up the things of God will never expire, they will never go to waste and its up to me to be sure I feed my spirit. I can store spiritual food so that I have something to feed upon when it’s been a crazy day preventing me from cooking up a spiritual gourmet dish. I can store things up to lift me on a sad day, a lonely day, or for when I just need a little “snack” from His heart to mine.

What are some ways we can stock the pantry of our hearts? Of course, there’s the obvious- prayer, bible reading, bible studies, attending worship services, etc. But, often I nibble on other things like the lyrics to Christian music. They can hold me over until my next meal when I purposefully think about what the words mean. I try to remember a verse that fits the lyrics instead of mindlessly singing along. Devotionals are great too, all you have to do is read, the author has already done the work for you and you can carry the thought with you all day. Simply chatting with a friend about who He has been to me recently or an answered prayer lifts my heart all over again and will carry me on for a while, and at the same time lifts them too. Don’t overwhelm yourself with trying to fix a spiritual meal that only a connoisseur would appreciate, start simple with one verse and chew on it for a while until He teaches you something new or brings you a greater understanding from it. He won’t let you go hungry!

I would love to know what you are stocking in your pantry with these days. Please share a comment, you never know; what you are doing may give someone else a whole new menu!

“But He said to them, ‘I have food to eat that you do not know about.’ The disciples therefore were saying to one another, ‘No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?’ Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.’” John 4:32-34

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