A labour of love

I watch the Philosopher move rhythmically with his sleeves rolled up, hands kneading dough with practised movements, swaying and singing loud (considerately wearing his headphones due to my M.E hypersensitive hearing) as he listens to Dragonforce’s ‘Sonic Firestorm’ album.

Faint whispers reach me of ‘My spirit will go on’ and ‘Fury of the storm’ blasting his ears, the two tracks conveniently serving as optimum stretching time.

And I marvel yet again at how relatively few minutes hard labour, coupled with several hours of waiting, of course, will give birth to a new rising of heavenly scented, mixed ochre-and-umber-tinged loaves bursting with goodness.

Bread-making is both art and science. A labour of love. A miracle of nature.

Even if he began the craft in an effort to economically appease the fussy particularity of his wife, it has become a real pleasure to him as anticipation mounts over how this batch will turn out.

For it isn’t always the same. Much can disrupt the end result.

On a bad mood day, the bread resists all efforts to come out well as it appears to absorb his feelings or fall victim to neglect and forgetfulness.

A happy day produces happy loaves rising smooth, high and steady, tasting as good as they look.

Isn’t that the way things can be for us all? We have days where our interest, concentration and focus are caught up effortlessly in attending to the Living Bread that is Christ. 
Such days flow with an ease and grace which feel restful.

 

And there are others where we are seemingly indifferent and life can treat us much the same.

Yet God’s word is our daily food and sustenance,an essential part of a healthy spiritual diet. We grow weak without its nutritious nourishment filling our souls, appearing satiated on the outside yet dying of malnutrition within.

Where are we looking to be filled? Are we reliant on people approval, page views, comments, stats, followers, opinions that resound with our own, compliments, cheering and crowd pleasing?

Are we feeding ourselves on Facebook ‘likes’, twitter messages, Klout scores, our social media platforms? If so, then we risk facing alternate days of feasting and famine as attention is paid to us, or not as the case may be.

Or do we sit with open, receptive hearts, come empty to the throne of grace, shutting out all else and focusing on God alone as we await our daily supply?

Sadly, not always. I have been sleeping in many mornings lately, due to having M.E and SAD. And I was upset at first to miss my time with the Lord that had been carved out since January, with ‘Jesus Calling’, Bible, notepad and pen at the ready.

It was more than a habit. I craved and needed this space to feel sane in a world that soon spun me sideways. It didn’t feel right to rush headlong into hurry.

And I was all the sweeter to be around for taking that time to spend with God.

Irritability sits close with pain and fatigue for me.

Even so, God gave me special grace to see that His plan for me on those long slumber days included getting better rest and not to beat myself up over it.

For I was in danger of making the routine a ritual not to be broken, an idol perhaps.

Then more days passed. I no longer worried if I missed my special mornings with God; after all, He wasn’t giving me a hard time over it, was He? Apathy is a close bedfellow to adaptation. How easily we fall prey to it.

Soon, it became clear… this wasn’t about routine, habit, pleasing God or pleasing myself… this was about losing something infinitely precious.

In missing and not making up the shortfall, I was desperately hungry on the inside, hungry for God’s companionship, hungry for His wisdom, hungry for His insight and inspiration, hungry most of all for His Love wrapping me close before other things caught attention and closed my mind to Him.

 

Now, my heart longs to chase after the staff of life as found in Christ. My soul craves Life.

Even as my natural heart’s desire may be sleep, more sleep please, as I seek after God’s heart, I know all my basic needs will be fully met in Him.

And it can all fall flat for me if I haven’t connected with Him before I connect with the rest of life. Without daily ingestion, manna grows stale, mouldy, hard and crusty.

Our lives revolve around giving out to people and things. It can leave us empty vessels, dry husks of no help to ourselves or anyone else.

How can we give of our best if we lack vital communication with our Life-line, being nourished in order to break off manna for others?

God will ensure all is used for His purposes. Not a crumb is wasted. Next to knowing Him in close friendship and intimacy, all else pales into insignificance and leaves us quickly feeling famished again, unless we feast at His table once more.

As yeast bubbles in the bowl signalling new life to come, may we bubble over with Holy Spirit anointing that spills over into the lives of others, and rise as living examples of God’s grace and provision to feed, sustain and nourish in every good work.

Linking here with the lovely Kelli Woodford for #concretewords where we seek to write out spirit from the abstract. This week’s prompt is:‘Bread’You are very welcome and warmly invited to join in.

6 thoughts on “A labour of love”

  1. I am blessed! I am blessed!! I am truly blessed!!! Joy you have written what I am sure other hearts are feeling. Communing with God and feeding on His precious word is a must for, your spiritual vital signs. In this life, this day in age, it is so easy to get caught up in the "natural" aspect of everyday life, including technology. There is a balance that is needed and that is were we pray for guidance as we feast at the table spread for us. God is rich in His mercy and grace, and very patient with me.

    What a timely write Joy. Thank you for this today! I loved this line… "God will ensure that all is used for His purposes. Not a crumb is wasted." Blessings my friend on your life and writing. 🙂 xx

  2. Thank you so much for this lovely encouraging comment, Kathy! You hit on the fundamentals here, "Communing with God and feeding on His precious word is a must for your spiritual vital signs". Indeed. Getting the balance right is really challenging as we live with one foot in the world and the other in the kingdom. Praying for guidance and making sure we don't miss out on feasting at His table is a very important part in helping us to achieve this. I'm so pleased this spoke to you today. Blessings to you, as you continue to inspire and help me come up higher in life and writing. 🙂 xx

  3. Thank you once again Joy for sharing your heart. Some days I have felt so guilty for missing my time with God in the morning or not spending as much time as I'd like, especially because of ME and SAD at this time of year. It's reassuring that I am not alone in how I feel. I love my daily bread. God sustains me and He gives me what I need to carry on. Thank you for your candidness and encouragement. May God richly bless you!! xx

    1. Tanya, I hear where you are coming from and my heart goes out to you. Guilt lies heavy alongside chronic health problems as we feel 'neither use nor ornament' and unfit for purpose most days. Our reassurance is that God understands how we are situated, hears the longings of our hearts, sees all and waits with eagerness for us to run to Him, lay it all at His feet, climb into His lap and just rest. He alone will sustain and give us what we need each and every day. So we can lay down our guilt and shame and know we are covered in God's robe of righteousness and wrapped warmly in His mantle of grace. Thank you for encouraging me here, my friend! Blessings and prayers Xx

  4. I love how you see Truth in something as common as bread rising, Joy. Thank you for writing with us on BREAD this week and turning out a product as delicious as the prompt itself. Blessings!

    1. Kelli, it was an honour and privilege to link up with you this week for #concretewords and I'm so grateful that God gifted me with words enough to join in! Thank you for your sweet comment. There is much to grace our lives in the everyday. Blessings 🙂 xx

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