Matthew 16:23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.
I’ve been parked in the book of Matthew for a bit, mainly because of Bible Study Fellowship. If you have a hard time reading your Bible every day, or even understanding it, or if you’re just curious, I’d recommend this ministry to you. For me, it has been quite satisfying having yet another day in my week to meet with my sisters and to stand and sing more hymns. Can you sing too many hymns in a week?
Poor Peter. I think we shall all one day gather round the man and say, “Me, too! Me, too!” Of course, our failings were not written for the benefit of others coming after us; instead they were forgotten, buried under the ocean waters, as far from the east is from the west. I’ve been meditating on what it means to “savor the things of God”, and of course how the world and my flesh pull me to grow in anxiety or self-righteousness instead.
I share Baxter’s lament, “WHY is not my life a continual joy, and the savor of heaven perpetually upon my spirit?” And yet I know why. But I still ask. And struggle. Such is the Christian life, meandering through the glory and the garbage of this world.
I got a bread bucket recently. I bowed out of fighting over one on eBay that finally sold for some $300 (!!) but managed to quietly buy one outright for about $70. I think of it as my Kitchen Aid without the plug. The crank turns the dough hook to knead the dough, and then the pot can be used in a warm place to give it rise. It has far more room than my electric mixer. It is simple, beautiful and very useful. What is not to like about the simple things? This bucket was made in 1902 and works like a charm. I can’t say I’ll be passing down my Kitchen Aid to my great grandchildren.
Baking bread is a lovely way to pass the day. Again, what is not to like? Feeding the sourdough starter, mixing ingredients, kneading, rising, BAKING (oh the smell!!) and then at the end to slice off a bit that’s warm and slather fresh yellow butter, dripping onto fingers. When I think of a simple, commonplace, slow, thoughtful, easy paced life, I think of baking bread.
Matthew 16:9 Do ye not yet understand, neither remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets ye took up?
This is another meditation of mine lately: to REMEMBER. When the trials are strongest, when everything seems (and is!) uncertain, when God seems silent and you’re just waiting for answers, direction, a plan…God calls us to remember. Remember His faithfulness, remember His great love, remember His promises (yes, even the ones that say you WILL have trial and tribulation), and remember He has neither left nor forsaken. Sometimes I have trouble remembering. It takes a stubborn will to put my hands out and say, “Yes I SEE the waves and water……but I WILL look for my Jesus coming upon them.”
I am knitting a shawl for Easter. It is one thing that keeps my mind on the cross, to REMEMBER Him and the hope I have and the peace He gives even in the storms. I imagine it covering my shoulders as He covers me with grace. If you look closely, you can see the little beads on the edge. They look like raindrops. Or tears. Both beautiful.
My book, Present, is at another reader’s eyes and is about ready for professional editing. The next step is to finally *decide* upon self-publishing or endeavoring to find an agent. Both have their benefits. In the meantime, I’ve begun a second book on hospitality. Don’t we all need more of that? Don’t we all long to not only feel at home, but to embrace our friends and neighbors with that same love and comfort and companionship? I think we’ve had our fill of busyness and separation….look where it’s gotten us. So much loneliness in the world today. We’re called to be comforters, as we have been comforted.
My latest little pleasure is collecting frogs to place my paintbrushes in. Art journaling helps me to let my mind rest, to wonder and ponder and think things through. Weaving on the loom does the same thing; I love the hundreds of little threads and even the words like warp and weft and weave. God is so good, that even in the midst of a mess of heezie-hozie, He allows some sweet moments of rest.
Are you in a mess? It’s part of life. But let us press one another to seek to savor the things of God and to be thankful for those blessings within it all. If you’d like to keep up with my writing endeavors, I invite you to join my mailing list at the top of the blog. I surely appreciate my readers so much.