A Sonbeam by warren and mary beth powell
Since I do not use a lot of meat at one time, I have a habit of freezing it in zip lock storage bags. Sometimes I get in a hurry to freeze it and I forget to squeeze all the air from the bag. This was never more evident to me than yesterday morning.
I was trying to do lots of things at once [gee whiz, what a surprise], grabbed one of the bags that had a couple of frozen ham slices in it, and rather than mess up the microwave, I put a bowl in the sink. I placed the bag in the bowl and turned the hot water directly on the bag, wanting to defrost the ham quickly.
About four minutes later I came back to get my slices of ham. Unfortunately what I found was that I had grabbed one of the bags with a lot of air in it, and the bag with the still-frozen slices was simply floating around on the top of the water, with the very hot water pouring its full strength and heat onto the air-filled bag.
Although the water was very hot, the bowl was holding the water, and the bag was directly in line with the hot water, in other words where it was supposed to be, the ham remained very cold and frozen in most places. The Lord then said to me, “Warren, sometimes that ham inside that bag represents you, listening for my voice.”
I sort of laughed to myself a little. Wondering where this lesson was heading, I stopped scurrying around and took a quick quiet time….to listen. No matter what I was doing, it was not more important than hearing from Him…even if it was going to hurt.
The Lord continued, “Because sometimes you get puffed up a little, full of yourself maybe, pride or whatever, when I want to reach you, I can’t. You can be in the right place, doing the right thing, listening to the right message or reading the right Bible verses, and because of the way you are thinking about things, because of things in your own life, what I want you to hear….it very simply will not touch you where I want to come into a closeness or intimacy with you.”
I knew exactly what He meant. As that bag of air floated aimlessly around on top of the water, with more hot water pouring directly down upon it…yes, I knew. Right place, right time, all right conditions….yet, because I had not ’emptied out myself’, I could not receive what God had for me.
“Lord, please break me of this lesson. Remind me of your many verses that teach me that I must constantly empty myself of me and let you fill me with more and more of you. It is you, O Lord, with whom I seek intimacy….the closeness, the touch and indwelling that comes only from your Holy Spirit…. to bring me to truly abundant life in you. I am in a moment-by-moment learning process with you as my teacher. “Let me be as the virgins who came to get their pots filled…they brought them empty. Please let me never forget that You cannot fill anything that already has something else in it. “Daily inspire me to make and take that time to be with you…. to repent of my sins and be refreshed as only you can do. I know I must empty myself of myself. Let me always remember that frozen ham in the zip lock bag as a reminder that you are always with me, trying to draw me into contact with you, especially with the frozen parts of my life….. deep down inside. Amen.”