“Open with care, eat with abandon”
Who knew you could be challenged by God theologically at a fast food restaurant? A while ago I needed breakfast since I left the house at 4 am to make a day trip to the US, so I stopped at the first one I came to. In an attempt to be fast but healthy at the same time I ordered oatmeal and that is when the challenge came.
I received my oatmeal and it came in a bag with my dried blueberries in it and my spoon. On the bag was printed, “Open with care, eat with abandon”. It got me to thinking about the word of God and how I should approach it. Thinking about how I should open it with care, realizing that when I do I need to be prepared for my life to be changed. But when I do open it I should “eat or consume the word of God with abandon.
One of the definitions for abandon (thanks to dictionary.com) states “to yield oneself without restraint or moderation”. My desire is to have the same attitude for reading God’s word, like most of us have with a good novel. I just finished Joel Rosenberg’s novel “The Auschwitz Escape” and I found myself sneaking away to read more, putting off what I should be doing to just cram in a few more pages. I was doing a bible study by Beth Moore and she stated “When you don’t know what God is doing, you can find stability in who He is.”
A lot of the time we don’t know what God is doing. Sometimes it is due to a language barrier or sometimes we are in a very hard situation with people and the outcome of what God has us doing is not evident. If we based what we do solely on the results we see, we would quit and go home due to extreme discouragement.
How do we know who God is? We consume His word with abandon!
September 12th will be three years in Mexico for us. My how time flies when you are immersed in a different culture! Our time here has been marked by how faithful God is in every area of our lives. We have had some great trials here, things that challenged us to the core of what we say we believe in. If we went solely off of what we were seeing sometimes, we would be living back in Bonners Ferry. Each day you live in a culture that is not your own, (never feeling quite comfortable or being able to relax completely or that you will ever fit in), wears on a person in ways you never knew in which you could be taxed. But even in this need God has met us.
The importance on knowing God’s word has become vital to us. Some things we have learned from God’s word that sustains us:
Our faith must rest on God’s identity not His activity (Hebrews 11:1)
God’s activity may “appear” to change, but who He is will never change. (Hebrews 13:8)
How we demonstrate our love for God by keeping His commandments (1 John 5:3)
A faithful Christian life is one that is marked by an uncompromising love for God and man (Mark 12:29-31)
These are things we still are challenged by and work with each day. Our goal is still to become more like Christ and less like our old self, all for the Glory of God.
in His Name
Mike and Heidi Van Dyken