If you've ever seen a Florida storm, you can imagine my concern about making it back home safely and on schedule. These storms blow in out of the deep Gulf, and can in a matter of a few minutes, completely devastate the area. Sunshine quickly turns to dark and pounding, relentless rain consumes the region.
As I left my hotel yesterday morning, a storm hit. For about an hour, it paralyzed the area- streets flooded, traffic froze, pedestrians huddled for cover under any available shelter. I knew that my flight was now in serious jeapordy; the Tampa airport would be backed up with incoming and outgoing flights for hours. Worse, it was a Friday- an inherently bad travel day.
At that point I was faced with a decision: I could worry about it, or I could give it to Him. I chose the latter. Needless to say, after my meeting was over, I headed to the airport, to find delayed and cancelled flights all around mine. But somehow, I made it home without any problems. My flight to Nashville landed about ten minutes early.
As I got off the plane, I thought about how unlikely this outcome was. I should have still been sitting at the gate in Tampa, watching the airline monitor relentlessly delay my flight in one-hour increments, until it was finally and excruciatingly cancelled. Instead, I was on my way to my car in the Nashville airport parking lot, effortlessly and without a lot of thought.
Jesus often talked about food and water. I suppose in those days, many people were pretty concerned with eating and drinking. Food and water were harder to come by; deprivation of either put one's life in jeopardy. Death by starvation or dehydration would certainly be slow and agonizing.
The fourth chapter of John relates thought-provoking commentary by Jesus about the subject. In his unique way, Jesus boiled down complex human issues and brought people back to what was important. He said that his food was to do God's will. And he claimed to offer water that if people would drink of it, they would never be thirsty again.
Of course, doing God's will has to be important to us. If it isn't, then I suppose your spiritual food becomes a junk food of sorts. So, before Jesus' teaching makes sense, we have to come to the decision that we want to please God. If we don't, then this teaching will roll off of us like Tampa rain on a duck's back.
Science tells us that death by dehydration takes about 4-7 days. Death by starvation can take up to three weeks. If you are faced with death by either, you would first seek water. Once you found it, it would sustain you to be able to find food.
Our food is our desire to do God's will. And Jesus' offers us water that means that we will never thirst. Food and water. Everything that we need. Jesus gives us the means to do God's will. And doing God's will sustains us.
And that's what happened to me in Tampa. I trusted in Jesus because I knew that God didn't want us to worry. Jesus' water provided me with the means to do His will. I also benefitted because somehow, against the odds, I made it home without any trouble. If I hadn't, I imagine there would have been some purpose behind it. Perhaps it would have presented the opportunity to share my faith with someone. Or there may have been some other silver lining that resulted. The important thing for me, would have been simply to faithfully stay in God's will.
Food and water. Without them, we would die. Without Jesus, we will die spiritually. We will serve other gods- money, desire, lust, pleasure, anger, whatever. Jesus gives us the means to be fed spiritually by doing God's will.
A simple concept. Trust in Jesus for your salvation- his death justifies us before God. His sacrifice paid the price for the sins of all of mankind. A single drop of God's blood is worth millions of lives. Trusting in your salvation frees you to trust in Jesus for your day-to-day ability to do God's will. It will all work out. For me, it always has. And knowing that gives me the confidence to continue to trust in Him.
Do I mess up? Do I fail to trust Him at times? Certainly. But He still makes it all work out. It may take a bit longer than it would have if I had simply trusted to begin with. But it eventually all works out.
Food and water. God gives us both. The plan is elegant in its simplicity but also in its effectiveness.
Take a drink and have a bite to eat.