Thursday, December 8, 2011

Nourishment: The Simple, Sweet, and Pure Drink

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 Abby.  She's preparing to live in Hungary for an indefinite amount of time with her husband and two kids to minister to the people living there.  She is passionate about Jesus, about spreading His Word, and about helping people to know the depth of His love and grace.  It is a privilege to know her.  I'm sure you'll feel the same way.
It was a night in the fall of my freshmen year of college and I knelt by my bed and sobbed great heaving sobs.  They were the good sobs of release. surrender.  Love. Joy. Peace. All of the Fruits of the Kingdom.

I had been preparing for the next small group meeting of the Sonship Discipleship Course that I was participating in through {thankfully} the persistent invitation of my R.D.  I was reading an article entitled ‘the End of the Struggle’ and in plain speech and illustration it explained that I didn’t need to strive for my own righteousness any more.  I could let go of the burden, this great struggle to please everyone and be the BEST at everything.  Grace could be my very own food any time. Anywhere. For all time.
As I describe it, this sounds like my conversion, and in many ways it was.  Yet I had been a committed believer many years, had shared my faith with everyone that I could.  I really did know Jesus died for me and I wanted to please Him.

But, it took this sobbing night to realize in the blood and guts stuff of me that, clothed in Christ, I already was forever pleasing to God.  The message of the Gospel, the life-giving good news, became not only my ticket to eternal life, but the food by which I live.

I cannot say I have never wandered from this life-changing truth.  But, it is true that I continue 19 years later to know in the very deep places that I will NEVER find life outside of the Gospel of His Grace.

I feel so blessed to have learned at 18 years of age this key understanding which shapes my mind, heart and soul into the image of Christ.  It has become my intimate centering reality that ‘just as I received Christ so I walk in Him.’  And I view all that I take in through this Gospel lens.
And this is how I nourish: drinking the pure and simple water of the Gospel.  No matter where I am in the Bible, I look for the Gospel.  Just like in the Jesus Storybook Bible, I listen for the whisper of my Rescuer’s, Jesus’, Name.  And with years of practice, I have to believe I can hear more quickly and clearly this heartbeat of my Savior.

Whatever book I am reading, I tune my heart to the rhythm of the crosswork of Christ.  All of Him given for all of me.  And if I can’t hear the Gospel in the book, I put it down and pick up the Word or put on a song that takes me there.

I listen to sermons by people like Tim Keller because in every message He ends with this beautiful will-never-get-dull rendering of the good news.  And that’s why I say I can listen to these kinds of sermons all day, because they resonate Gospel.  My eyes become fixed on Christ and taking in His Glory.
It is like the pure water of Aslan’s country, this Gospel drink.  You know the one that Reepicheep tastes in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader and says ‘sweet!’  The closer I am to His heart, His thoughts of me in Christ, the sweeter the drink and the more of it I want.

And the more I come the more I learn to come.

Also, the more bitter and perverse is the taste of the lies that try to get me to think that it’s still about me. My performance.  My perfection.  My striving.  And then, the more quickly and fully these untruths are spit out like the bile they are.

So, I raise my glass of the sweet, pure drink of the Gospel to you all and say let’s all lift it to our parched lips and take it in.  It will never stop being poured for our taking and we will never stop being healed and filled and every-kind-of-nourished by it.


Want to read more of Abby?  Of course you do!  Click here to follow/subscribe/read her blog, Fan the Flame.

8 comments :

  1. Beautiful, wonderful, true thoughts! Thank you so much for sharing...

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  2. i know this this of rich sobs. this place of finding the bottom but that peaceful place, too. this is beautiful, sweet one. so glad to meet you; thanks to Jen for sharing you with us.

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  3. nice...thank you for your story and for living out that gospel as well...dawn treader is my fav of that series as well so nice reference...sweet!

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  4. Beautiful post ~ thank you so much for sharing your testimony of grace.

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  5. Amen! Amen!
    Thanks for introducing us to Abby, Jen. What a powerful word!

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  6. i feel refreshed, having read this, beautiful abby. this life... it is all Jesus, isn't it? love to you. and thank you jen, for hosting abby here.

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  7. Ah, sweet Abby . . . nice to find you at the lovely Jens.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  8. thank you everyone for your kind words, all because of Jesus, His Love & Grace. And Jen, sister, thank you, thank you for hosting me and especially for how you described me above...that meant the world because wow, if people really felt a deeper sense of the Love and Grace of God for them through what I write or more how I live...wow, just wow. Praise Him if that happens...love you sister and YOU ALL!!

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