Bread and Butter, with Cheese
"We will not know what we will use to worship the LORD until we get there." Exodus 10:26
As I was doing an assignment in a workbook called Living by the Book by my favorite master teacher, Howard Hendricks, and his son, I was instructed to read Exodus up to the point of the Ten Commandments. I was consumed again by the story of the Israelites in Egypt and what God wanted to accomplish through this whole process. But when I came to Exodus 10:26, my heart was struck. I have been struggling with a few issues here as we serve in this new place. There are things that are difficult for me. I am hot sometimes, I am hungry sometimes, I don't like the food sometimes, I don't want to serve in certain ways sometimes. I have been feeling rather blue, missing my children, my extended adopted family, my special Christmas treats I usually make every year, and my special personal decorations for Christmas. It can be painful to see your own selfishness raise its ugly head. It isn't always easy being the only white face in the crowd, or seeing someone look down on you as they assume you are probably a rich American, since you are grocery shopping in St. Lucia. And then you are convicted by the innocent question of a young fellow Christian, "What is faith? And if it is an action of trusting the Lord, what have you done recently to trust the Lord?"
I have to say, though I was thinking of some things, I was embarrassed to say them out loud. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, I don't want to show my own selfish nature. I want to glorify God, not put the attention on myself and my shortcomings.
And then in my reading I am confronted with Moses telling Pharaoh, "We will not know what we will use to worship the LORD until we get there." And it hits me. These new things that are causing me pain, the inward struggles, are the very things I can use to worship the Lord. They are the sacrifices of a humble and contrite heart (Psalm 51:17), Oh Lord, You will not despise.
The tasteless white sandwich bread I would rather go without, or my precious and expensive butter I purchased rather than eating the assigned margarine, are constant reminders. Do I willingly do things I don’t like? Do I protect myself and hoard “my” stuff, or do I freely give like Jesus did in worship to the Father, knowing I can’t out-give God and that He gave it to me in the first place?
And then there is the cheese, my favorite kind, the things I love: the beauty of God’s nature and the heavenly breeze. Thank you, Lord, for cheese!
Lord, I want to be willing. Lord, change my heart. Help me to use the bread and the butter of life to worship you. I am yours.