Today’s reading: Matthew 6:26-34
This portion of scripture happens to be among my most personal and favorite, as it directly ties into a pivotal moment in my life when Christ became more than a religion to me for the first time.
I had just settled into a tiny apartment just outside of Osan Air base, near Song Tan, South Korea. The apartment was located on the fifth floor of a building overlooking the tail end of the Osan runway. Directly above us was an accessible roof top, where I remember spending countless moments watching the jets land and looking up at the sky at night. Inside the apartment there were three small rooms and a bathroom. No furniture. No stove or refrigerator. No hot water or heating of any kind unless you purchased oil for the unit that heated it. Many of these things I could have had through Family Services on base, but my then husband had once again turned his anger towards me and refused (as my sponsor) to get any of that on my behalf.
The pastor’s wife from the church we were attending, on the other hand, was holding counseling sessions with me a couple of days a week. I had fallen from grace a few weeks earlier, and she was trying to introduce me to a personal prayer life. Having come to see God as angry, vindictive, and controlling, and having just left a church back in the states that wanted to “turned me over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh”, I could not imagine a Jesus waiting to do anything other than punish. But she was persistent, encouraging me to both pray and read my bible daily. Slowly I began to open up.
So it was that I found myself one day sitting on the floor in the tiny apartment, reading Matthew chapter six, all about the cure for anxiety and worry. Don’t worry, the text said, about your life or food or clothing. Seek God’s kingdom and His righteousness first, and all these things will be given to you.
Since I had little of “these things” and was far removed from an easy way to obtain them, this should have been comforting to me because for the first time, I was doing just that, seeking! But in that moment I decided to play the “poor me” victim card, and I chose to become angry instead. The first prayer I had prayed in a long time was then an angry one, which was ironic for someone who had up to that time been afraid to speak to God!
“Lord, for the first time in my life that I really remember, I am seeking you with all of my heart and yet, though you tell me these things will be given to me, I have none of them! I don’t have a chair to sit on or a table to sit at. I don’t have food to eat, or even a way to keep or cook food. I don’t have a bed other than this pallet on a cement floor. It is getting cold outside and I don’t have hot water to bathe in or heat to warm this place or sufficient clothes for the winter. WHAT then? What is the need I have that you will provide if I seek You”?
“I AM. I am your biggest need, and I have given you ME.”
The words were so audible in my spirit that if I had not already been sitting I believe they would have knocked me onto the floor. His love began flooding over me again and again in waves. I couldn’t move for a long time, but just sat and cried. I got it. HE was my biggest need, and He had supplied me with HIMSELF. The thought could not have sunk into my soul any deeper because no material thing mattered to me after that. I could not care less if I had any of those “things”. Jesus became personal to me in that moment. No longer was he a god of my own creation. He had become my God, and I have never been the same since. It almost felt like when you are first getting to know someone you have fallen in love with and want to spend every moment with them that you can. I was in this hallowed place where trust was complete, and nothing could hurt me anymore.
Jesus wants this kind of intimacy with all of us! Are you willing to seek first His kingdom and righteousness?