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Monday, September 28, 2009

A Hole in the Middle

It seems like our life has been full of "fairs" lately. First was the local fair, then the county fair, and the last two weeks have been the OklahomaState Fair. Our three oldest children had several 1st place 4-H entriesthat were eligible to go on to the state fair. One of these entries was homemade bread made by our son, Zachary.
By mistake I had Zachary make his dough into rolls, but it was actually supposed to be a half-loaf. Since his was the only entry at the county fair, the extension agent said it would be fine to go ahead and enter it at the county fair in the 4-H bread category, but that when it was sent to the state fair he would need to make it into a loaf and send half of it for the state contest.

So the day came for Zachary to make his bread. I had never made a loaf from yeast bread myself and so I wasn't sure how much dough to tell him he would need. We guessed and he used half of the dough and made his loaf. The next day the dough was allowed to rise and then it was baked. The loaf looked great...perfectly shaped and browned . But, when it was time to cut the loaf in half and get it ready for the state fair, guess what? There was a HUGE hole in the middle! The middle was just empty! Of course, there was nothing Zachary could do at that point. It was too late to remake the bread, so it was sent to the state fair just like it was - HUGE hole and all! I wonder what the judges thought????? I think they may have laughed!

As Christians, our lives can be just like this loaf of bread. All pretty and perfect on the outside, yet a big hole full of air on the inside. As humans we put a lot of emphasis on the way things look. We can "look" the part of a Christian and we can make ourselves believe and even cause others to believe that we really are living a faithful Christian life. But, perhaps inside there is nothing really there....we're just "looking the part". But, God sees inside. He knows what's really there. He knows if there is a big hole in the middle with nothing in it.

On the other hand, when we first come to know God, we may come with a hole inside - an empty, dark hole full of nothing.  That's okay!  God takes us with that empty hole and gives us something to fill it with. When we come in contact with the blood of Jesus, that empty, dark hole becomes filled up with His love! After that first contact with Jesus, though, we must continue to keep that hole filled up. Left neglected, that hole can return, little by little.  God will continue to do His part, but we must also be diligent to keep that hole in the middle from coming back.  How?  By remaining in Him and staying close to Him (worship, praise, fellowship, prayer), by following in the steps of Jesus (serving others, selflessness, faithfulness), and by abiding in His Word (reading, studying, meditating).

On this GRATITUESDAY, I'm grateful for Jesus and the blood He shed. He was and is willing to fill up the hole in my life and in your life if we will allow Him to.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  Ephesians 3:16-19

These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:7-9

What are you grateful for today? For more Gratituesday, visit Laura's blog, "Heavenly Homemakers". 


Wa Wa Waughs said...

Well, even store bought bread has holes, sometimes, don't feel bad Zachary! Great application!

Lori said...

True, it does (although not AS big!). I should have said, though, that we ate the other half and it was great - hole and all.

I was proud of Zachary because the first bread he ever made (the rolls the first time) turned out great. It's taken me years to make bread and he did it the first time!

I found a "bread in a bag" thing that I want to do with the 4-H club. I think they will enjoy making it.

Hallee said...

What a beautiful devotional! Thank you for sharing that story and for tying it into life so nicely.

shopannies said...

amen how blessed we are

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