I was struck this morning by this clause in I Timothy 6:17: “…God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” He provides for more than our needs; He provides for our joy. Our five senses do more than inform us. I hear music — soothing or invigorating. I see colors in interesting patterns with light and shadow — delighting and inspiring. I smell, I feel, I taste…. While my senses can respond in crass carnality, He designed them to point me to Himself, the Creator, and to cause me to joy. This joy is a worshipful response of confident trust in and extreme admiration for our LORD. Selah
The Indwelt Word + Experience = Christ-living. So this morning,
I peered out the front window and walked around our little cul-de-sac feeling the soft breeze while noting the crispness of the colors here in the sunny highlands. Inside again, I rested on my comfortable recliner, drinking in the quiet with the Lord. Finally, I softly played the piano while singing a gentle love song to Jesus.
This is Christ – living at this moment for me. (Or taking my cues from Dr. John Frame, this is “doing theology” or maybe “living theology.” He defines the work of theology as “the application of God’s Word . . . to all areas of life.” So applying the joy principle found in I Timothy 6:17, I simply observe His obvious provisions and I joy in them. I know this is faith-walking — seeing the invisible through the visible. With faith, it is possible to please Him (Heb. 11:6).
I must admit that I changed some of the words to the worship song I was singing. (I seldom can let a cooking recipe “be,” so song lyrics may get “touched” as I’m “touched.”) The song, written by Hanneke Jacobs (published in 1981/83), is entitled, “The More I get to Know You.” The lyrics with my edits/revisions (additions or changes noted by italics) are as follows:
“The more I get to know you, Lord, the more I grow to love You. The more that I treasure your Word, the more I treasure You. Oh, Jesus, sweet Jesus, I’m falling more in love with you, my Jesus, sweet Jesus, I’m falling more in love with you, my Lord.”
“The more I sing your praises,the more I express my love for You. The more I see your gracious giving, the more I give my love to you. My Jesus, sweet Jesus, I’m falling more in love with you, my Jesus, sweet Jesus, I’m falling more in love with you, my Lord.”
Then, I started to write this post, but in the middle of composing, I experienced some “technical difficulty,” so taking a break, I moved to the kitchen, turned on some soft music, and made a casserole and salad for dinner. Yes, yes. I could not stand to let the recipes “be.” (My Grandma used to use the expression when we cousins were little, “Leave it be, leave it be!” It meant, “Don’t touch!” We obeyed her, but I don’t have to obey cooking recipes. He-he-ha!) Well, I wanted to make something with left-over, grilled chicken breasts from last evening, using only what I have in the kitchen. So, creative substitution and thoughtful modification become inspiration! We’ll see if Paul thinks so tonight!!
I made a kind of layered “Lazy Chicken Enchilada Bake ” (title has been “touched”), covering the bottom of an oiled pan with cubed, grilled chicken, topping with tortilla chips (instead of rolling ingredients in soft tortillas), chopped mushrooms, onions, and asparagus (last item leftover also from last night) and some crumbled blue cheese. I covered each of the two layers with picante salsa (instead of enchilada sauce) mixed with a can of cream of chicken soup and some milk to thin it a bit (2/3 salsa to 1/3 soup). Topped it with some leftover crispy onions. Well, this is not a low calorie dish, containing several ingredients I normally avoid, but had around (tisk, tisk! – cream of chicken soup and crispy onions – you know, the kind used in that green bean casserole).
I also made a very simple tomato salad with just chunks of fresh tomato plus chives I cut from our garden and clipped into small pieces, moisturized with some of Paul’s favorite dressing — Ranch. Marinading in the fridge now. We’ll see if Paul lives through the evening, and I’ll report back to you (hopefully, not from jail).
Reporting back with you reminds me that I should let you know how my dad’s poem ends. I’ll get around to that – in another post.
Today, let’s enjoy everything around us that God has richly provided for us to enjoy — which truly glorifies Him — and let’s share what we have “in this present world” with others — because our hope is in God who is our Provider!
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
1 Timothy 6:17