Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Refreshing Jesus

I’ve made a practice of drinking half my body weight in ounces of water daily. So that leaves me around 68 to 70 ounces a day. I noticed the reaction of my body when it is the recipient of such an amount. I have less headaches (I’m headache prone sadly), have more energy, my sinuses and allergies feel manageable, and my stomach is flatter – weight loss. When I give my body the water it needs, I’m a healthier person.
On the flip side, when I neglect water, I have regular headaches, my sinuses are clogged, my stomach bloats and I am tired. Really tired. It makes since though. I’m forcing my body to do all the same things but with not enough (or the right type of) fuel.
At E.I. we run a mile on Mondays. When it’s hot outside, the only thing I want to do is have a nice long drink afterwards. I get to the dining room for lunch and head straight to the water dispenser. Last Monday, I distinctly remember spilling some on my shirt in my enthusiasm. The water instantly relieved the dry, sand-paper feel of my lips and tongue, revitalizing me and boosting my energy level. When I have water moments such as these, I’m reminded how I should not go long without water, because my body desperately needs it – especially when I am exercising a lot.
I am like this with most of my physical needs. If I really need water, I’ll run to the nearest water source and slurp it up, sometime with such haste that I spill it. If my stomach is whining, I’ll make sure that I get some food in it as soon as possible. Sometimes I’m so hungry that I will satisfy that need with no manners at all, like make a mess in the process or forget to chew with my mouth closed. Or with sleep. I’ll flop down on my bed after a long day, forget about everything else and just sleep. I will satisfy these needs with little dignity. Just anything to make sure that I get what I need.
Truthfully, you probably won’t see anyone who is really hungry or really thirsty or really tired take care of those things with poise. Normally, the seriously hungry will scarf down food and have multiple portions, or those that are thirsty will gulp down their liquid with extra noise, or the really tired may fall asleep in unusual places.
What this makes me ask, is why do I try to be dignified when I approach the Lord? If we are talking about needs, the Gospel and love of Jesus Christ is my greatest need. Why don’t I approach Him like I do other things? Why do I act like everything has to be “just so” before I approach Him – like He’s gonna be offended if I don’t have my Bible or have tons of time. I need to learn how to run to my room, drop my bags and fall to the floor, ready to be refreshed by my King. David wrote in the Psalms: “My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land where there is water.” Okay, if David was in a dry and thirsty land, then saw an oasis, do you think he would a get a glass, ice cubes and gently sip some water in a dignified, Kingly way? NO! He would run to the pool, jump in, gulping as he splashed around in joy. At that point, who would care about poise and image? Just satisfy yourself! Same thing with the Lord. Why do I pray with dignity? It’s my pride – telling me that I have to have myself together and know what I’m going to say before I come to the Lord, which is a lie. He wants me to draw near, in my filth, in my disorganization, in my distraction, in my weariness, in my inability, and in my unfaithfulness so that He may fellowship with me and refresh my heart, satisfying my deepest desires – that no salad, cold water or sleep can.   
Just like I would be okay if I got an apple instead of a full meal, I’m refreshed even a little when I stop for a short moment to remember who I serve and let Him minister to me. And when I regularly do this, just like drinking water often, I feel myself get spiritually fit. Spiritual fitness comes from just quality time with Him. And consistency. I’ve been learning about consistency. If I were to eat once a week, I would be one scary looking creature. Same goes for my spiritual life. If I feed on the “Daily Bread” (aka God) once a week, I’m going to be a visibly mal-nourished Christian. I may be able to hide my emaciated body for a short time by wearing baggy clothes and keeping my distance from people. But the moment someone touches me or uncovers me, my true form will be revealed. I can hide my lack of spiritual health for only a while. When the rubber meets the road, my unloving, selfish flesh will be released like a pack of wild dogs. I will not have Jesus by my side to hold them back because I neglected to seek His presence.         
Saul’s daughter, Michal, got upset with King David because he was dancing before the Lord in the presence of other people. He was celebrating. He did not care who was watching, he just celebrated the Lord. Am I willing to strip myself of all my fleshly pride and just celebrate in the person of Jesus Christ, letting the knowledge or His sacrifice revitalize me?
I want to be the type of woman who lives full speed. She gives, pours out, serves, loves, worships, protects and works. She wears herself out on physical tasks and relationships. But, her driving force and escape is her time with the Lord. After a long day, she runs to her room, slams the door, and sinks to the floor –exhausted. Pouring her heart out to God, she processes her day and the lessons she received. Then, she can dance before the Lord. Celebrating what He has done for her. She rejoices in the fact that she has a River of Life that she can draw from any time she needs. She is invited to that River constantly – no prerequisites, dress code, or standard. There is no place she would rather be.
How should you change the way you approach the Giver of Life? Are there any ways you feel that you need to be prepared before coming to Him? Do you feel like being refreshed by Him is the wrong idea? That when you come to the Lord, it only has to be for learning and prayer for needs?
Maybe you need to go to Him for the first time in a long time.
I did. Guess what? I found refreshment.