“El que en pan piensa, hambre tiene.”- Spanish proverb
Translation: “He who thinks about bread is hungry.”
I am very hungry. I am hungry for (want) what I think about and what I focus on. I want what I allow my mind to focus on. And the things that I want aren’t “bad” in and of themselves. But they become negative when they make me focus on myself and what I want instead of serving Christ.
I tell myself “it’s okay to want these things. You’ve waited so long for them.” And I have waited a long time for them. They are things that Husband-Man and I have prayed about and feel let to pursue. But God’s plan doesn’t conform to the next-in-line rule. I may have been waiting longer than my girlfriend, and she may have already been granted the blessings that I have waited for for a very long time. But that doesn’t mean that I am next in line, because “for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9, ESV). God chooses to move as He sees fit, regardless of my “ideal time-line”.
God also doesn’t want me to focus on anything before Him. Period. In the ten commandments (Exodus 20), God lays out a set of commandments, and “you shall have no gods before Me” is the first commandment on the list. What I focus on more than my relationship with Christ becomes sinful, because I’ve gotten my priorities wrong.
I get myself in big trouble with my thoughts. I focus on myself and what I want, I focus on where my friends are compared to where I want to be. I think about the thing that I want instead of to who Christ is. I focus on my lack instead of His greatness. I focus on me. And it poisons my heart.
And did I come to this realization on my own?
No I did not. I am so thankful for Christian community and for friends that are willing to say difficult words of encouragement. For friends that are willing to tell me that I’m focusing on myself more than I’m focusing on Christ (translation: it’s not about me). Praise God for gentle correction in a spirit of love. Praise God for my friend Victoria who reminded me that “for every look at [myself], look at Jesus 10 times”.
I’ve been listening to God Centered Mom podcast with Stephanie Rische (Ep. 56) recently, even though I’m not a mom. In her interview, Stephanie talked about God fulfilling her desires on His timeline. Her willingness to share about her difficulty spoke to me. I have to be reminded that God is good and will be good period, with no conditions. He is good if I never own a home. He is good is I never become a mother. He is good regardless of Husband-Man’s health.
These words are me preaching to myself, with the help of a Godly community and resources. I am working, and failing more often than not, to take my thoughts captive and submit them to God (2 Cor. 10:5). I am struggling as I write this to turn my thoughts to who Jesus is and to what He tells us about Himself.
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:25-34, ESV
Every day, we’re going to think. Every day, we have to decide what our “pan” (bread) will be; what the focus of our minds will be. Will our bread be our desire for anything but drawing closer to God? Let’s decide to hold God as our “pan” each moment at the forefront of our thoughts. And when any of us fails, let’s commit to gently admonishing each other when we lose focus.
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35 ESV