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There is funny story that comes up quite often in our family. Several years ago, we were sitting around the table eating dinner. My children were eating like little bohemians. It was like I had never taught them any manners. Anyway, one of the kids was eating with his hands and not using his silverware. I was frustrated and said, stop eating with your hands and use your silverware! Sounds reasonable right?! That night, part of dinner included a baked potato. I had finished the inside and was eating a little bit of the outside. (I think you know what’s coming!) As I told my son to use his silverware instead of his hands, I, indeed, had the potato skin in my hand getting ready to take a bite! Yep! There was a moment of silence and blank stares, then the whole table busted out laughing! I had to eat a little crow with my baked potato skin! Needless to say, the story comes up often to remind us we need to practice what we preach! Even if eating with your hands to take a bite of potato skin is ok.

I want to add a disclaimer here. What I have been writing and sharing, I’m saying to myself. What I hope has been times of encouragement and “pep talks” for others, are my areas of weaknesses and the need for encouragement is vital. Over the last several weeks, I have been wrestling with a some areas of spiritual weakness. God has used people, songs, scripture and a 2 x 4 to get my attention. It is so easy to dish out advice, kind words, words of encouragement. Yet, it harder to live it out in our private, inner selves.

I’ve had many “Aha!” moments. I was filled with peace and calmness that gave me the strength to take a step forward. I’ve had moments of being overwhelmed. What God was leading me to do seemed too overwhelming and out of my reach. It was too much for my little heart and mind to comprehend. I had moments of, “What?? I don’t get it.” The more I thought about it or the more I dug into it, the more confused I was.

Then a light bulb came on. All the things that God has brought to my attention are not to overwhelm me, but to root me deeper in His love. Many of the scriptures that I have been reading, are scriptures I’ve read before. Yet, the meaning of the scripture was taken a step deeper. Some scripture I’ve read over some many times, I glance over it and don’t give it another thought. That’s not good. God was forcing me to pause and take a deeper look into His Word, into His love for me. His Word never changes, we do. We are created to understand and grow in His wisdom and knowledge. We will never understand God completely while on this earth. Yet, we are encouraged to seek Him out daily and take a step closer to Him every chance we get. It’s not easy and sometimes it’s ugly. Yet, the outcome is oh so beautiful and oh so worth it!

I am the one who has a tendency to make it more complicated than necessary. I have a tendency to try too hard or hold too⁸ tight. When, really, He’s trying to simplify it and carry the load for me. We are meant to hold on tight to Him, not our worldly struggles. We are meant to hold tight to His Heavenly promises and let go of our earthly struggles.

It’s a tricky balance of growing in my depth of faith and hanging on to the simplicity of His love. Christ’s love is not complicated or out of reach. His hands are reaching out to us right now. Are you willing to take a hold of His hand and trust your heart to Him?

Eating crow tastes nasty and is hard to swallow. Eating some humble pie is good for the heart, mind and soul. As you hold your “potato skin” ready to eat with your fingers, may you place it at Jesus’ feet and give it all back to Him. I really don’t know what I’m doing. But I do know that the more I surrender to Him, the deeper His love grows in me. That’s the heart of it all, growing deeper in His love, walking closer with Him every day. What do you need to lay at Jesus’ feet? Then, I encourage you to lean into His love. His hugs are the best!

Thanks for sharing a moment with me. We are in this together in Him.

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