Starving. With a mouth full of food.

My children tell me they’re hungry all. day. long. Often they’re just thirsty. Or bored. Sometimes they’re actually hungry. And sometimes, they have the audacity to tell me they’re hungry WHILE THEY’RE EATING.

Owen regularly asks for more food while he still has half a plate in front of him. Molly even had an apple in her hand and, chomping away on a mouthful, said, “Mommy, I’m HUNGRY.” Exasperated, I said, “Stop ASKING for food and just EAT the food you already have IN YOUR MOUTH.”

My kids tell me they're hungry all. day. long. Sometimes WHILE CHEWING A MOUTHFUL OF FOOD. What does this have to do with your prayer life? This discovery rocked my world.

And with that, the nugget of truth I chewed on for fifteen minutes last Friday circled back around and found me today. (You can click here to read it real quick if you missed it.) As one who has surrendered to Jesus, the Bible says I have received the gift of His Holy Spirit. The Bible also says the fruit of this Spirit is

love.

joy.

peace.

patience.

kindness.

goodness.

faithfulness.

gentleness.

self-control.

Soooo, pretty much everything I ask God for all. day. long.

I guess the reason I ask God for these is because, well, mainly because I don’t feel like I have them and He’s God, so, duh. But also because I’ve learned these qualities are not for me to “produce.” He is the vine; we are the branches. We do not PRODUCE the fruit of the Spirit – we BEAR the fruit of the Spirit. This is an important distinction.

But there’s another point the Lord seems to be driving home to me — while it’s not a matter of me producing, it’s NEITHER  a matter of me asking Him for more. How many times a day do I ask, beg, desperately plead for

more love!

more joy!

more peace!

more patience!

more kindness!

more goodness!

more faithfulness!

more gentleness!

more self-control!!!!!

Just like when my daughter pleads for food while she holds a snack in her hand – or even has a bite IN HER MOUTH… She doesn’t need to beg me for it. SHE HAS IT. What’s left is for her to do what people do who have an apple: taste it. eat it. enjoy it.

I don’t need to muster up and “produce” more love, joy, peace… and I don’t need to beg God for more of it either. I HAVE IT. What’s left is to do what people do who have love, joy, peace… I need to YIELD to it. Abide in it. Not squelch it. Wait, not “it.” HIM. These qualities are the fruit of a Person inhabiting my heart. I need to yield to HIM; abide in HIM.

What if, instead of waking up in the morning and pleading, “Please, Jesus, give me patience today. Please, Jesus, give me joy…” – what if I wake up with, “THANK YOU, Jesus, for the patience you’ve put in me. THANK YOU for the joy you’ve placed in my heart. May my life today reflect what’s true!”

May I courageously yield to God’s Spirit, and thereby courageously receive, accept, and abide in what has already been deposited into my heart.

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7 thoughts on “Starving. With a mouth full of food.

  1. Elizabeth

    Thank you for sharing this! My prayer is always “help me find the patience, acceptance, etc… to get throughout this day.” Never stopped to think that I already had it; I just need to learn to embrace it. (BTW, I graduated high school with Matt and have known him since we were little kids. So glad he posted this story!)

    Reply
  2. Jessy Aaron

    Love Love Love this! Such a great truth to remember. I might need to read this every morning…or every hour. 🙂

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Flashback Friday: Sufficient Courage - all the little pieces

  4. The Ritual Awe

    Just be careful you don’t get too caught up in metaphor— when I heard this in warmer climes, I’d sent the whole household checked for worms!

    Reply

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