I am continually surprised in the ways that God chooses to speak to us. Sometimes He speaks directly to our hearts, sometimes he gives us subtle hints and then there are times when we aren’t listening that He chooses to have someone speak directly to us. There are many times when I guess I am just too stubborn to pay attention so He has to have someone come hit me over the head with a 2×4. Yesterday was one of those occasions.
First let me give you a little background information to bring you up to speed. Over the past couple of weeks I have found it harder and harder to sit at the computer and write. At first I attributed it to writers block but then I realized that since I don’t consider myself a writer, then there must be a better explanation. Over time I blamed this on my busy schedule and lack of time. After all, this is my busy time at work, we have a lot of things going on at home that we have all been dealing with and then there was the business trip. I kept thinking to myself that hopefully things would settle down, get back to normal, and then the ideas would again start spilling out as they had in the past.
I am sure that I am not the only one who has found themselves in this situation but looking back I now realize that this problem that I was having was not only affecting what I do here but also was affecting my teaching at church. After a couple of Sunday’s where we had very few people show up for class I was also starting to get more than just a little discouraged. As the summer has progressed I have found myself struggling more and more to come up with ideas. What usually comes very easily is now very hard, my teaching, my writing, my own personal relationships have become much more difficult that they have ever been before.
Yesterday I had a conversation with someone who made all of this seem very clear and very simple to me. During the conversation, this man, who is no longer associated with the church that I attend, told me that he wanted to tell me something about my teaching. After talking about the importance of teaching, He said that he wanted to relate to me something that had been told to him many years ago.
In essence what he told me was that when someone has a hard time coming up with ideas for teaching or preaching God’s Word, then it is because that person hasn’t spent the time necessary nourishing his relationship with God. In other words, if the teacher or the preacher does not get the nourishment that he or she needs by talking to God and studying His Word, then that teacher or preacher will be left with nothing and he or she will not be able to pass on the knowledge that God has given them to others.
He went on to say that it was explained to him in this manner. When a mother nurses a child it is imperative that the mother get the proper nutrition prior to feeding the child. Without the proper food for herself, then mother will never be able to make the proper milk for the baby. No matter how much the mother wants to feed the child, there will be no milk, no nourishment, the child will starve. Proper nutrition for the mother is essential for proper nutrition for the baby.
Proper nutrition for the preacher or the teacher is essential for proper nutrition of the congregation or the student. The Holy Bible is that nutrition that a preacher or a teacher needs. Without spending time reading, studying, trying to discern God’s plan for our life, the preacher or the teacher is not dispensing the nutrition that the church deserves.
As I walked into my house this afternoon I looked at my desk, sitting on the edge of the desk is my Bible. That is where it always sits. But I noticed something different today, there is a checkbook, some mail, some headphones, and other miscellaneous papers sitting on top of this book. I’ve been too busy to pick it up. At least that is what I have been telling myself.
We can never be too busy to spend some time reading God’s Word. It is our nutrition, and not just for teachers and preacher, but for every child of God. He inspired the words of this book so that we could nourish our minds and our souls with His thoughts. Without it, we become lost. But we have a responsibility, it is not enough to have the book sitting on the edge of the desk. We must pick it up and study the words that are on those pages. We have to read the Book. We have to nourish ourselves.
The person that I spoke to today had no idea what had been going on in my head. He had no glimpse into my thoughts over the past couple of weeks. He has probably not even been to this website more than once or twice many months ago. God knew. He knew I had been ignoring what I knew to be true. He knew that I had been making excuses and putting off spending time with Him in His Word. He knew the thoughts, the doubts, the questions that I have asked myself over and over. And He decided it was time to hit me on the head with a 2×4.
I don’t like admitting my faults and mistakes here for the world to read about for years to come. But I have to say what God has placed in my heart, after all, I really don’t need another 2×4 to the side of the head.
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