Sometimes in life, we find ourselves in a new place. An uncertain place. A place that makes us stop and scratch our heads and ask, “Okay, God, where do I go from here?” It’s a little scary, a little uncomfortable, but also a little exciting. This is where I am right now.
My daughter has been in treatment for a recurrent tumor for over three years. We’ve had a couple of times when we thought the fight was behind us only to be put back in the ring. THIS time she underwent a stem cell transplant. She’s all new from the inside out – I think we all are in some ways. So, for over three years our lives have revolved around appointments, hospital stays, and keeping our daughter happy and healthy. Now, what?
We aren’t the same people we were three years ago. We’ve grown and matured. We’ve changed a lot. Jumping right back in to the same “old” life doesn’t seem like the right fit. The square peg in a round hole problem…In addition to the changes, there is some fear as well. We’ve tried going back to our same jobs and school only to have the rug pulled out from in under us. Maybe we are supposed to go right back to the same old same old, but it seems a little surreal. Can we just snap our fingers and go right back to “normal”? Maybe we can, or maybe we’re supposed to change our course. I don’t know.
When I am at a loss and not sure what to do, I go to the one source of truth that I know I can trust – God. He is so faithful and never changes despite our fleeting emotions. I have been in earnest prayer about our path. I’ve also consulted His word. A big truth jumped out at me from the book of Leviticus. (Yes, another OT book!)
In Leviticus 5, God is outlining the various sins and what sacrifices they require for atonement. This was typically a bloody, messy business. It also required a LOT of animals. What about those who had no animals to sacrifice? What about those so poor they didn’t even have doves or pigeons to sacrifice? In verse 11, God says that individual can bring fine flour. Flour? Didn’t sacrifice require blood? Yes, typically, but God doesn’t need the animals. The cattle on a thousand hills belong to Him.
He just wants us. He made a way for even the poorest of the children of Israel to come with a repentant heart and be forgiven. Bring fine flour, bring a pigeon, bring your aching heart. Just bring what you do have and God will do the rest. Sometimes we feel wrung out, spun out…We feel we have nothing to offer and don’t know what to do or where to go. God says, “Just bring me what you have. Yourself. Sit and rest. Let me fill you with My Love. I will show you My Path.” And He does.
So, we pray. We ask God to open the doors that are to be opened and close the ones that are to be kept closed. We ask for His guidance and direction. We lift up our open hearts and our open hands and we wait…Now, when my mind races ahead of my heart, I think of the children of Israel and their fine flour sacrifices. I think how God must have smiled upon them. He saw them bringing all they had – things He didn’t need…but they were making a sacrifice. They were seeking Him with all they had to offer (just like the widow offering her mites). Can we do that today? Can you offer Him your life? Your heart? He’s waiting with arms open wide. He’s waiting to show you the abundant life He has designed for you and your family.
“You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings. Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand – you don’t require burnt offerings or sin offerings. Then I said, “Look, I have come. As is written about me in the Scriptures: I take joy in doing your will, my God, for your instructions are written on my heart.” Psalm 40: 6 – 8 (NLT)
Father God, we know that our works and sacrifices are no substitute for our obedient hearts and genuine commitment to your will. Help us seek it. Help us come to you with what we have and offer it up to You. No fear, no hesitations, no holding back. Just open hearts and hands. We are coming in readiness and are prepared to do what You are calling us to do in Your name. We love You. We trust You. We want to draw nearer to You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
This may seems like a bit of a stretch, but I’m going to give you my favorite way to use “fine flour”. What does this have to do with God’s will for your life? Not a whole lot, I know, but as you mix them up, think of those children of Israel. Pray and ask God to show you your gifts and talents. What can you bring to the kingdom? And when you bring these brownies to your family and friends, you will see perhaps a glimpse of what He sees when He sees you – love.
These brownies are a family favorite. So much better than a box mix – cheaper and healthier too! I can guarantee you have the ingredients in your cupboard right now. Take what you have and create something beautiful – and yummy 🙂
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
In a small bowl, combine the oil and cocoa until smooth. In a medium bowl, beat eggs. Add sugar, vanilla, and cocoa mixture. Stir in flour and salt. Fold in nuts if adding.
Pour into a greased 8 X 8 inch baking pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool and enjoy.