Refreshed

A weekend visit from my sister, lily of the valley from our backyard in New Jersey transported by plane to Florida, amazing meals, running in the rain, sunset views from my porch, a great sermon at church followed by great theological discussions, a handmade card from an old friend and an unexpected cold front thrown in by God just to delight me.

God knew I needed to be refreshed. He knew I needed anapauō.

Ana-what, you say?  Anapauō  is a Greek word used in the Bible that means, “to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect strength”.

Recover and collect strength.  I love that.  God brings anapauō through family and friends and memorable meals and sunset views and sermons.  And He brings it through time spent with Him and time spent in His Word.

  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you anapauō (rest).”  Matthew 11:28

Praying that God will give you anapauō today in unexpected and delightful ways.

 

Yes, brother, let me have joy from you in the Lord; refresh my heart in the Lord. Philemon 1:20

Then he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart, but the young woman’s father said, “Please refresh your heart.” So they delayed until afternoon; and both of them ate. Judges 19:8

 Return to your rest, O my soul, for the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.          Psalm 116:7

Bread

So I’ve discovered the art of baking bread.

I may have to blame it on my genes.  I can still taste “Grandma’s bread” in my head even though it’s been decades since I’ve had it.   And while I don’t spend all day making multiple loaves at a time like she did, there is something special about the whole process of waiting for yeast and flour and warm water and salt to become…something amazing.

And here’s a little trivia for you.  Bread is mentioned 315 times in the Bible.  Seems God knew how amazing it was, too.

It fed His people and sustained them.  It played the main part in miracles, like when the manna rained down from heaven, when the widow scraped up the last bits of flour from her bin and it fed her little family for days and days, and when Jesus borrowed a few loaves from a young boy and used them to feed thousands of people.  And the bread He broke up during His last supper has become a symbol of His sacrifice for us, reenacted in churches all over the world just last weekend.

There’s something special about bread.

I’ve been through my share of low-carb, “bread is evil” moments.  But rediscovering the joy of making it has reminded  me that bread has played a significant part in God’s plan for His people.

I hope your next morning toast or lunchtime sandwich or dinner roll reminds you that God always provides and feeds and sustains and blesses.

May you find new joy and hope in the Bread of Life.

And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst”.  John 6:35

“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”  John 6:51

The bin of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil run dry, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke by Elijah. 1 Kings 7:16

And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave it to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left.  Matthew 15:36-37

Love

Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all…

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross –  Isaac Watts, 1707

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  John 3:16

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. 1 John 4:9

We love Him because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19