As someone who loves nice clothes but hates spending money, I am sometimes referred to as “the consignment shop queen.” I prefer smaller, boutique consignment shops over thrift stores, partially because I am such an impatient shopper. When I hear my friends describe the way their husbands buy clothes, I can relate. But one day, with an hour to kill, my daughter and I visited a local and trendy thrift store.
My daughter was thrilled to discover several bookshelves packed with Christian books for $1 and $2 each. Most of the thrill of a thrift store is the treasure hunt! I spied two books I had been meaning to read, and seeing them both there felt like a gentle nudge from God. We left with a half-dozen books, throw pillows, and several other things that will likely make their way right back to the same thrift store after a little more consideration!
Last night I was reading one of my finds, The Jesus I Never Knew, by Philip Yancey. This quote jumped off the page: “With yesterday’s miracle still digesting in their bellies, they asked for yet another miraculous sign. They were addicted.”
Yancey was referring to the passage in John 6, where only a day after Jesus fed the five thousand, the crowds asked Him for another sign. Yancey says, “An old Jewish tradition taught that the Messiah would renew Moses’ practice of serving manna, and had not Jesus done that very thing the day before? With yesterday’s miracle still digesting in their bellies, they asked for yet another miraculous sign. They were addicted.”
Sometimes God gives us small glimpses into heaven when we feel His presence or see our prayers answered. My initial response of praise and thanksgiving can often too quickly turn to, “okay, what’s next?” My dear friend, who has been trying to help me nail down my Enneagram number, might see this tendency as more evidence that I could be an Enneagram 7 (although I’m still leaning toward a 3)! I believe that most of us, regardless of our personality type, find a way to turn almost anything into an idol – even a miracle.
The last several months have been a huge adventure for me. I have seen God answer some of my most persistent prayers in a very short period of time. My journals, packed with these prayers, shout the kindness and faithfulness of our God to grant so many of my heart’s desires. It know it sounds too good to be true. I can hardly believe it myself! One shocking answer after another. It has been a thrill! And yet, yesterday I found myself becoming restless once again. I could identify with those insatiable crowds. What is wrong with me? What is the answer?
Jesus gave us all the answer in John 6:35, “…‘I AM the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.’”
I can enjoy Jesus’ company. Instead of anxiously looking around for what is next, I can digest my already answered prayers by spending time with Him. I can slow down and share my testimony to encourage others. In those times when I do feel truly at rest in Him, I know I have experienced something miraculous. Jesus is the prize.
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy, and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good and delight yourselves in rich food.” Isaiah 55:1-2 (ESV)
And once again, I met Jesus in Isaiah.