Yesterday was my oldest son’s birthday. It marked the anniversary of his decision to walk out of our lives. Not all of our reinvention has been by choice. Not all of our reinvention has been desirable.
A few years ago I had the dubious privilege of sharing a box of Bertie Bott’s every flavored jelly beans with my sister. One of the flavors I got was earwax. Now if yesterday had been a jellybean…. Some days just leave us with that bitter taste in our mouths.
It’s on those days that we desperately need a recipe for “fresh”, a new flavor in life that will wipe out every other taste that has contaminated our palate. Now let me just warn you, there are all kinds of recipes for “fresh” that do not work. Most of them are based on our work, our striving, what we can do to fix ourselves, our lives, our husbands, or our wives. When it really comes right down to it the big issues of life, that leave us with the scent of bitter herbs, cannot be fixed by our own work. They require divine help. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing we can do. It simply means we have to shift the focus of our doing. We have to stop doing the things that MIGHT solve our problems, and we have to start doing the things that will attract the God who CAN solve our problems.
A Recipe For Fresh:
1. 1 Cup of “Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not on your own understanding. Acknowledge the Lord in all of your ways and He will direct your paths.” Prov. 3:5,6 Now ordinary trust will not do. This is the trust that commits every single thing in your life to God and stops trying to figure out how its going to work out. This is the trust that stops frantically working on the problem and takes a break until the revelation knowledge comes from God about what you are to do.
2. 1 Cup of “Be anxious for nothing but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phil 4:6 This is violent faith stuff! Some things are truly worrisome. But if your going to get “fresh” you can’t be anxious. You have to pray and thank God until anxiety goes away. Just a side note there have been times where I have had to pray for several hours before this part of the recipe was accomplished. “Fresh” is not a recipe to be tried by the spiritually faint of heart.
3. 2 Tablespoons of ” Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure,, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable,-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think on these things.” Phil. 4:8 Please don’t confuse this with positive thinking or the mindset that says “It’s all good”. I hate to tell you but not everything is good and certainly there are things in this life that have no positive spin. We shouldn’t spend much time trying to make piles of horse puckey smell rosy but we should spend time smelling the roses. This particular ingredient is about focus. Isaiah tells us that “He whose mind is stayed on God is at perfect peace.” “Fresh” requires a mindset focused on God.
4. a tablespoon of “From the lips of infants and children you have ordained praise… to silence the foe and the avenger.” Psalm 8:2 Let’s face it the Lord of the flies is truly the fly in the ointment! Worshipping the Lord shuts the devil up. So sing to the Lord and don’t stop.
5. Finally add pinch of “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” Proverbs 17:22 Laugh a little. Even in the tough times life is humorous.
Finally I have a secret ingredient I like to add to “fresh”. When life really leaves a bitter taste in your mouth mix all the above ingredients together and focus on the Living God of Heaven. Then begin to post your feelings in your blog. Keep erasing them and rewriting them until you feel you can let your pastor read what you wrote.
I hope you try “fresh”. It’s a whole lot better than bitter.