Monday, June 8, 2015

Making Room

Sometimes making room for things means getting rid of other things but that isn't always an easy process.

"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles (Nations) seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." - Matthew 6:31-33 ESV

"Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high. Is such the fast that I choose, a day for a person to humble himself? Is it to bow down his head like a reed, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and a day acceptable to the LORD?

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard." - Isaiah 58:4-8 ESV

In a way fasting makes room for something else in our lives. The time, enjoyment and satiation we get from eating food gets displaced and replaced and room is given for spiritual refreshment.

Can we displace animosity like a fasting person displaces food. Can we stop and make room for something else?

Seeking the kingdom of God first is going to require a rearrangement of our mental and emotional space. Decisions will need to be made.

There is an account in the Hebrew scriptures of a woman who made room for the prophet she saw passing by...

"One day Elisha went on to Shunem, where a wealthy woman lived, who urged him to eat some food. So whenever he passed that way, he would turn in there to eat food. And she said to her husband, 'Behold now, I know that this is a holy man of God who is continually passing our way. Let us make a small room on the roof with walls and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp, so that whenever he comes to us, he can go in there.' One day he came there, and he turned into the chamber and rested there." - 2 Kings 4:8-11 ESV

Elisha then made his own inquiry about this families needs and sought to be a blessing to them. God gave that barren couple a child. They sought the kingdom of God first and made room for Him in their house and God expanded their house in other ways.

God knows what would be a blessing to us. Perhaps we need to make room for those things by getting rid of the stuff that takes up that space in our minds and hearts.

We can miss a meal and give it to someone else. We can take some time to see about someone else's freedom from bondage with grace words instead of concentrating on our disappointments or failings.

Giving grace is the true fast that God desires. Giving grace and making room in our lives so that more grace can be given is a recipe for refreshment.


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