My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” John 4:34, NKJ
For many months now, I have felt out of alignment spiritually and have wondered how to find my way back. I’ve increased my service in a couple of different arenas. I’ve prayed more, been more disciplined, and have sought to put others ahead of myself more than usual. And yet, that promise, “He who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39, NKJ) has not been my lived experience this past half year. It has felt instead like I have been losing, rather than finding, my life with each acquiescence to another’s need, with each act of service, while I’ve been expecting a positive return on investment. Instead, I have found myself feeling overwhelmed, lost even. I definitely haven’t felt at peace, joyful, or fulfilled. What has been the matter?
Mercifully, I came upon this verse this week, John 4:34, in the New King James translation: “Jesus said to them, ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” Some translations say “meat” instead of “food,” and both work. Jesus is saying that His sustenance is to do the will of God and to finish the calling set before Him. And I realized that this was the crux of my discontent. My empty restlessness owes to the fact that I have not been writing. I have been pursuing elements of God’s will for my life: service, prayer, giving my best at work, and devoting myself to my family. But I have not been engaging with other vital elements that I know to be essential parts of God’s regimen for my life. I know that I am to write, that I am to exercise, and that I am to get out in nature. These are imperatives I register in my bones, deep in my spirit. And yet, how infrequently in recent months have I been listening to these necessities of the spirit!
So, here I am back at writing and feeling liberated by it. I commit to daily writing because I cannot afford to go a day without it. It is a lifeblood and a daily calling. If I try to shirk off, I will feel it, and so will those around me. Some days I might be revising past writing to submit for publication to magazines or journals, or I might find myself working on turning past blog posts into a book of daily reflections. Other days I will write something new. But every day I will commit myself to this calling which I love and which gives me sustenance for a balanced, fulfilled, and joyful life.
What is your “food,” your “sustenance?” Are you making time for it? If you are feeling on edge, restless, or discontent, are you making time for the healthy dictates of spirit that whisper to you? Sometimes we think we can’t afford to take the time to do the thing that we must do. As the cliché goes, we can’t afford not to. Will you join me this week in prioritizing your sustenance? It’s not selfish when it means that you will be more fulfilled, contented, cheerful, joyful, and loving to all those around you if you pursue it.