April 6, 2010

Hungry?

As you may know or not know, Peter is my favorite disciple. And 1st and 2nd Peter are among my favorite books in all of scripture.  Why and how I have reached these conclusions are perhaps the subject of a future post, but I am more concerned with the present.

In 1 Peter 1, we are charged to set our minds upon Christ. In verse 14, Peter writes, "As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: 'Be holy, because I am holy.'" He continues in 2:1, "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." (ESV)

Until the past two weeks, craving spiritual things like a newborn baby craves milk is something I had understood passively. Meaning like, "Yeah, babies love their milk! We need to desire it the way they want their milk!"  And that's it.

I likened it much more along the lines of craving it in the way that I get the urge to have a glass of freshly squeezed lemonade. Or maybe some brewed sweet tea. Do I thoroughly enjoy these things? Absolutely. They are my favorite things to drink. But is this an appropriate illustration of this biblical lesson? Certainly not.

When my daughter is hungry, she lets you know. There is absolutely no doubt in anyone's mind that she is hungry. You look at her, and there she is screaming at the top of her tiny lungs. No words. No, "I really want milk right now!" Just simply a loud, continuous shriek with her eyes closed and her face slightly turning side to side that cannot be satisfied by anything other than the milk she is craving. Nothing. No bouncing. No singing. No sunlight.  No pacifier. And the process repeats itself, not the next week. Not a day or two later. A mere couple hours later, there she is again, screaming for more milk.

When I "crave" lemonade or sweet tea, sometimes I find some, usually I don't. I forget about it. The next time I have some I'm happy about it, and possibly remind myself and those around me, "Yeah, I've been craving this for days."

For Leilani, on the other hand, every second feels like an eternity until her craving can be satisfied.  Her milk cannot be to her a moment too soon. She needs it NOW.

So the question is, is my desire for the things of Christ and his holiness on par with my daughter and her desire for milk? Probably not. I'd say it's much more in the lemonade/sweet tea category. Now each time she cries for milk, I will be reminded of how that's exactly how I'm supposed to be in regards to Christ, holiness and the things of the Spirit. Isn't it amazing how we allow the things of the flesh to satisfy us? You know what they are in your life. But the desire for the spiritual milk should be unquenchable.

Having kids, they say, teaches you more about God and how he loves us. And I can certainly attest that this was the very first (and continuing) lesson that I have learned since having a kid. The love for your own child is unlike any sort of love I've experienced in my life.

But lesson #2: unquenchable thirst for Christ and the type of holiness that he commands has begun. Thanks, my little Miss Leila Mikayla.

3 comments:

Ruth said...

Sobering.

What would (and should) life look like if we hungered with that intensity? Gives a whole new meaning to the words crave and yearn and thirst...

windschime said...

huh, I never thought of it that way before..

Harold of Scaggsville said...

An awesome thought. Thanks for bringing this out and sharing Peter and Leilani with us. Beautiful pics of her by the way.