The various and sundry dishes seemed to stretch on forever.
My favorite thing to do, before it all began, was to walk up one side of the tables and down the other, trying to see all that was there. If I stretched my neck and stood on my tip toes I could just get a glimpse of what was in the those wonderful smelling dishes.
The good old standbys always brought a smile to my face; fried chicken, orange jello and deviled eggs. But other dishes like vegetables or weird salads would make me wrinkle my nose and rejoice that at this dinner I didn’t have to have a “no thank you” helping. And then there were the desserts, as usual the ladies of our church had out done themselves with warm brownies fresh out of the oven, enormous cakes, and pies galore.
My joy of potluck dinners was born out of a love for food and fellowship. My favorite thing about potlucks was that my parents weren’t as attentive to my eating habits which enabled me to eat whatever I wanted. This meant that I could forego the vegetable dishes and fill up on desserts to my heart’s delight.
I also enjoyed the freedom to be able to pick and choose what I wanted to eat. At home there weren’t a lot of choices. I had to eat a little of everything, even if I didn’t like it. I learned early in life not to complain because that would only get me more!
My love for potluck dinners was raised to new heights, when I realized for the first time that if I put something on my plate and didn’t like it, I didn’t have to eat it! That was never the case at home. The mantra, “Clean Your Plate” had been adopted by my parents, and there was no hope of changing it. Believe me, I tried.
Recently when I sat down to spend some time in the Scriptures; I was struck with the fact that I have a tendency to love God’s Word, like I love potluck dinners!
I choose to feast on verses like Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT) The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
But turn my nose up at verses like Matthew 5:44 (NLT) But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
My desire for things that are easy and tasteful hinders me from developing strength and depth as His disciple. And I can’t help but wonder if this is what Paul was alluding to in 1 Corinthians 2:2 I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready. . .
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there are verses in the Bible that don’t have any value but the point I’m trying to make is that we hamper God’s work in our life when we pick and choose what we like and don’t take it ALL into account.
God’s Word is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. I readily confess that I don’t like to be cut open, to have my sin held up to the light of His Word. It’s so much easier to steer clear of God’s cleansing work in my life and focus on His unending love and faithfulness. But God desires so much more for me and for you!
Let me ask you the same questions, I’m asking myself. Do I approach God’s Word like I approach a potluck dinner? Do I find myself choosing the verses in God’s Word that are tasty and appetizing and avoiding those that seem distasteful or hard?
Lord, I confess in my heart of hearts I have approached your Word like I do a potluck dinner. I have feasted on Your grace and avoided Your commands. Thank you for extending Your mercy to me and open my eyes and my heart to ALL that you want to teach me. Amen.