Thursday, December 1, 2011

Nourishment: Give Us This Day


Have you ever just craved nourishment?  How do you get it physically, emotionally, spiritually?  Because I have these questions and I want answers, I've asked a series of people to come in and share how they find nourishment.  Will you come along for the journey?  We will meet here every Thursday through the holidays...
 Meet Melanie.  I had the privilege of meeting her while we did a 31 Days Series together back in May.  Then, we went to She Speaks together, but didn't actually meet, which I am so bummed about.  Melanie has an amazing heart to help writers and speakers and is so full of talent herself, as you will find out by reading below...
photo by Melanie Saccomanno
I’m a runner and often while running I pray and meditate on scripture. I usually follow the Lord’s Prayer as the pattern for my petitions.
Inevitably when I reach the part, “Give us this day our daily bread,” I am struck by the request in present tense. Our Father is a present tense God. He is the now in our lives – and in His words, the “I AM.”
As I run and pray this portion I ask God to help me live in the moment. I pray that I am not tempted to worry about tomorrow and fret over yesterday.

“Father, give me what I need for this day—provision for practical needs, guidance for today’s decisions, and grace for each moment.”

We women, especially, are often tempted to try and control our world. Perhaps subconsciously we believe that if we are good enough, do enough and follow some kind of magical religious formula that our lives will be nice and neat – that we can ward off trouble. However this kind of thinking, rather than relieving us, actually leads to a kind of white knuckle living. We’re hanging on for dear life fearfully hoping we do not lose control. The idea that we even have that kind of control is a fallacy. For if you live long enough, trouble comes - like a bad houseguest who arrives uninvited and stays too long.

Our family has faced one of the worst tragedies of life. We lost a child. Our son, Andrew, was twelve years old when an odd symptom alerted me to take him to our pediatrician. Later that day an MRI and a phone call forever changed our lives. Andrew was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer. No cure. Little hope. Only God.

This Christmas will be our 3rd one without our boy. He went to his heavenly home 10 days before Christmas 2009 - less than 4 months from the heartrending diagnosis.
I share this to tell you that I know how easy it is to worry and fret. It would be very tempting for me to worry that something else terrible will happen tomorrow.
But as I pray, “Give me this day my daily bread,” what I’m really asking for is the empowerment to live faithfully unto God today. I know that I need daily sustenance - daily nourishment - to live unfettered from ruminating over the past and being anxious for the future.

“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)
 
In the first few months after Andrew passed I had no appetite, I lost weight and I was drowning in my clothes. My face was gaunt and I began to walk stooped over. Physically I was undernourished. My spiritual conditioned mirrored my physical one. I found it hard to read my bible and pray. One afternoon I cried out to God and experienced a spiritual intervention. I made some physical and spiritual changes. Two of which were to get back to running and a scripture memorization plan. Soon I regained my appetite for food and for His word.

Never in my life have I lived more in the present than I do today. My highest offering to God is to daily surrender my desire for control and purpose to Him. I can’t change the past and I can’t predict the future. I can, however, truly live in the present trusting the I Am who is enough for me.

Want to read more of Melanie?  Oh, yes.  You do!  Click here to go to her personal blogs, A Faith That Endures and Fun Farther, Faster, Fearless.  Subscribe today!

8 comments :

  1. Thanks for the honor of guest posting here!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Melanie, so many of us have not endured a tragedy like yours so when I meet someone who has and yet continues to be joyful in the Lord I am encouraged that the promises He makes in his Word to sustain us are not just theoretical ones for one day but true and tried ones. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

    ReplyDelete
  3. You truly inspire me my friend, love you.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for sharing this and giving us a daily reminder to stay in the present.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love this...

    Give us this day our daily bread. This is all we really need...

    Thank you for your words of encouragement...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Bread for today. God's faithfulness for today.
    Light for the next step...
    How freeing if we can accept that this is enough!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Jen, you have no idea what amazing work you are doing by connecting us all the way you are in the form of these guest posts etc. Thank you for introducing me to yet another wonderful woman! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Melanie, Thank You for this helpful reminder.

    ReplyDelete

Don't go yet! Leave me a note with your thoughts.