Today I woke up expectant of the Lord to be great. This is a Scripture-based thought coined as a statement by Pastor Eric Ludy, and relayed to me by my wonderful boyfriend Johnny. My how we can always be expectant of Jesus’ greatness, for Him to be exactly who He says He is. There is such FREEDOM in knowing this.
This morning I spent several hours responding to emails and messages before I spent some time in the Word. The Lord really spoke this verse from James Chapter 1 into my heart:
“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
I thought about the state of my “religion” in my current relationship with the Lord Jesus. And I thought that both of these areas of pure religion could use some healing and some shifting by the Lord’s hand in my life, for His sake.
Oh Lord, may it truly be YOU that dwells in and works out of me. Not me trying to mimic you, or a sometimes-me flesh moment, but Lord may you grant me pure and undefined discernment, SO THAT I am helping the needy and unstained by the world, in Your name.
I Skyped my dear Johnny next for a few hours to catch up and have some important and wonderful conversations. In everything we aim to look to Jesus for discernment. Distance is not easy when you deeply love someone, but man, the Lord has used it to produce fruit and growth and perseverance!
I spent a few hours doing homework next, cozied up in my PJs and with hot cocoa and some snacks. This is probably the longest period of time all year I’ve been in my little student house, and I appreciated the peace.
Finally, it was off to New Hamburg, to the house of my new friend Sarah, who I met at the church I’m interning at. From the moment I met Sarah, I felt the tug of the Holy Spirit on my heart to get to know her. She humbly and richly beams His Spirit, and I love being around her.
We had coffee recently, and Sarah and I immediately hit it off! She told me that her mom was about to start working with a person dealing with an eating disorder, and wondered if I’d want to come to dinner one evening to meet her parents.
And so here I was, at their beautiful home, welcomed by three amazing people who beamed the Lord and welcomed me right in. As we were talking and getting to know each other, I noticed a cookbook on the counter behind Sarah’s mom, that I knew my mom owned, and that I loved. I had read through bits of it and always picked it up at Chapters, health food stores, etc. In the midst of conversation, Christine’s cookbook came up– and I exclaimed, “WAIT– is that your cookbook?”
Chris was so humbled that I knew of her book, but I knew how popular it was. Sarah later told me she’s sold over 4000 copies! Over a delicious soup, salad, and bread meal– recipes from Chris’s book itself– talking about the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness, I experienced physically and spiritually Jesus’ sound presence and wanted to shout His praises all evening.
Over tea and chocolate-peanut butter-banana bites in front of their fireplace after dinner, I shared Jesus’ testimony of healing me and my idolization/fixation on controlling food — looking to food or food rules rather than Jesus– from beginning to end. This story of complete healing in Jesus, for Jesus, that resonated with all the Gingerichs. Chris had shared bits of her story, too. Truth be told, her cookbook had at one time been one of the ones I idolized. I asked her, “do you love reading cookbooks and cooking?” And she said “Ha! You’d think.” Even cooking, she said, she didn’t always feel like doing. It was so incredible to hear such this not fixated response from a woman who wrote a cookbook on healthy recipes– and who also ate chocolate chips and discussed the work she sees the enemy doing in people surrounding food, both in addiction to it and addiction to controlling it.
BUT, and the big we all together rejoiced in,
Jesus is much more powerful, and has a way.
Sarah drove me home, but not before we prayed together and Chris insisted on giving me a copy of her absolutely beautiful cookbook. I couldn’t stop glorying in the Lord and His timing in my meeting this beautiful family.
I am off to bed now, thanking and praising Jesus for these opportunities that He is so gracious to bestow and that He USES.
Oh, thank you, Lord Jesus, for this day. May it be forever to Your glory and honour, and may You continue to be our only guide– unstained by the world. Amen.