Do you ever get the feeling that if you're a "true believer" in Jesus that you're supposed to be a little miserable in this world from all the sacrifices that you make?
I think especially in the evangelical church we can fall prey to this mindset; that this world holds nothing for us and we are somehow saving up all our joy for eternity in heaven. But what if that eternity starts the moment you begin to follow Jesus?
I've been encouraged this week be reading and rereading Psalm 81. This was a song to be sung by their choir, praising God for his deliverance from slavery. I can appreciate that- I know that through Christ I, too, have been set free to live with God as my only master. Later in the Psalm, the writer laments that Israel has lost sight of God and forgotten that He is the one who accomplished these things for them.
Speaking from God's perspective, as the Psalmists often did, the writer expresses how soon God would act on our behalf if our trust was fully in Him. But here's the real clincher for me. Listen to the pay-off of this kind of trust: "I would feed you with the best of foods. I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock." When you look into these words, this is far more than a promise of a good time in heaven. This is God proclaiming that he wants us to experience His very best right now. Particularly that last phrase, "wild honey from the rock." Think about that. Wild honey was a primary source of sweetener in the ancient Arabic world, and completely unnecessary for food or life. God is promising to give those who trust in Him the very best food just because He wants to bless them. And where will this wild honey come from? The rock- a place where wild honey should not be found.
The only reason for God to give them wild honey was to bless them; to satisfy them with the BEST of food. Maybe we need to rethink our belief about when the joy of eternity begins. I'm not advocating that God will give you a perfect life, or that Christ-followers should have lots of dough, but maybe the image of miserable Christian is less Biblical than we realize.
As you journey, may you discover the God who gives wild honey,