Monday, a friend of mine who is the pastor of a little country church called my office to let me know they were having revival. His wife had already told me and I was hoping to be able to go on Tuesday night, so he asked me if I would sing too. I told him yes and then I went to praying about what songs to choose.
Those of you who know me understand my passion to use music to bring glory to God...so usually when I sing for a special occasion...I actually pray about what God wants me to sing. Sometimes I have something I want to sing, but God will change it. I also began to pray that God would bring me something to encourage me from the message too.
From my last blog many could tell I was struggling, and Monday was a new day for me. I just needed to write my feelings out so that I can move to the next lesson...and get over whatever I'm feeling.
Well...boy did God show up. I sang "Completely" a song featured in the movie "Facing the Giants." It was the first time I had sung that song in public, and I'm really glad that was one of the songs to sing. That song talks about surrender and focusing on God's wants...not mine. The other song I sang was "One Touch (Press)." This song has a special place in my heart because I heard it last year in November and thought it was a pretty song, but when I began reading through the gospels, I read the story of the woman with the issue of blood and remembered this song. So I began to study the story. How in the Old Testament when women had a discharge of blood they were considered unclean and how anything they touched was unclean too. She had to keep herself away from people and as the song states it was ostracized for 12 years. She had dealt with this issue of blood for 12 years...she had been unclean for all of those 12 years. I can't imagine having to not be around people for more than a day ... or even a week, but 12 years.
Anyway...Chad Burn spoke and he brought out how Jesus is the Living Bread. He said that Jesus was talking to the disciples here when He said this...and asked the question...why did Jesus use the connection of bread? He brought out that bread was a staple in the Jews life. They ate it with their meals. He brought out the fact when the Israelites were in the wilderness one of the things that was provided during those 40 years was manna...a sweet bread type flake. It was there EVERY morning (with the exception of the Sabbath)...fresh and waiting. The reason for it not being there on the Sabbath was the law of keeping the Sabbath holy. They were to take extra on the day before the Sabbath, but that was the only day the extra would not spoil. If they took extra on Monday...then Tuesday morning it would be spoiled. That's not part of his message, just a side note.
So...back to his message...the thing I took with me that night that really encouraged me was his illustration of Heiner's bakery. In Huntington, WV there is a bread bakery...and when you are in the area you smell the bread. You can use that sense of smell and know there's bread there. Do you see the bread? No...but you can definitely smell it. Now...Jesus is the Living Bread. Can I see Him? Not yet, but can I smell Him...yes I can. I can tell He's here with my other senses. He then described the woman with the issue of blood walking in a crowd of people...not sure where Jesus was...but she could smell him. She was pressing through the crowd trying to get close to Jesus...She even had faith that she didn't have to actually touch Jesus, but just touch the hem of the garment.
In the song, there's a line that Nicole wrote that gets me every time. It says, "So many people calling, how could He ever know, that just a brush of Him, would stop the flow." She was healed by her faith...when she touched Him. How do we know that? Jesus immediately says, "who touched Me?" The disciples are probably like, "what are you talking about? Why do you ask that...there are people all around you pressing up against you and you are asking, who touched you?" I think of it as a scene from a championship game...where the player that scored the game winning point is being crowded around...if he were to ask "who touched me?" we would be like...what are you talking about? The greatest thing I love about Him asking...is that He knew. He just wanted her to step out in faith to say..."I did." And you know what...she did. She not only told Him it was her...but she told her story...and He listened. He was her "fresh bread" at that moment. He took the time to listen to her story and gave her exactly what she needed and more. He healed her of the issue...and gave her a new life.
That's what Jesus does for us...He heals us of our problems, issues, illnesses, and gives us a new life. He cares about EVERYTHING we are going through...He cares about the problems we are facing at work...in our relationships (with friends and spouses)...with our attitudes...EVERYTHING. And He's there with FRESH BREAD to give us. He's there waiting...we just have to accept it.
What are you struggling with? Go get some fresh bread...I have tried to fill that void with other things...but what I needed was just some "fresh bread".
Hope this encourages you as much as it encouraged me. Until next time...