Run the Risk of Fearlessly Loving {Without Running Away}

Can you imagine? 600,000 sandal-clad feet hurriedly racing out of Egypt.  1,200,000 hands burdened not only with nursing babes, temper-prone toddlers, and wandering livestock, but also hundreds of pounds of gold, silver, and Egyptian jewels.  Now, put on their backs kneading troughs wrapped in clothing and filled with…{you’ll never guess}….dough!

Yes, the Israelites hurried out of Egypt with wet, sticky dough.  And not even the kind of dough that would work for them while they walked in the hot sun.  No, they left the yeast behind in Egypt.  This was the making of unleavened bread.

I never understood the Festival of Unleavened Bread.  I used to think it was some kind of cruel joke: making people eat lifeless, dense planks of grain…for seven straight days!  And since God also instructed them to literally sweep out any remaining yeast from their homes, there was no option to sneak in even a bite of yeast into tomorrow’s breakfast rolls. {The very smell of baking yeast would surely give them away.}

Unleavened

But alas, God is not in the business of cruel jokes.  He is in the business of symbolism.  Yeast represented sin.

Like yeast, sin is a leavening agent – even the tiniest bit infects the whole loaf, the whole life. {Gal 5:9}

Unleavened2

The Festival of Unleavened Bread symbolized the never-ending battle against sin.  God was reminding them to sweep out the dark corners of their lives for every remnant of yeast, every remnant of sin.

There are days when I feel like I waste away in the dark corners of my life.

  • Why do I mistrust the affirmation of those closest to me?
  • Why do I seek to justify my existence through performance?
  • Why are other people’s opinions of my mothering, my friendship, or my writing so crucial to my “happiness”?
  • Why does any of this bother me at all?

But even though the dark corners hold more questions for me than answers, I also know I’ve been called to participate in this Festival of Unleavened Bread. To sweep out my murky angles.  To remove the often invisible yeast that infects my daily bread.

Unleavened4

And to remember that this feast IS a festival, not a punishment.  A celebration.  A holiday from the daily dose of defeat, and depression, and {let’s be honest} despair.  A purposeful occasion to gain an appetite for untainted bread, unspoiled Truth, an uninfected Life.

A chance to rejoice that the God of the Universe cares enough about me to carry me out of my dark spaces.

After a while in the dark
Your eyes will adjust
In the shadows you’ll find
The hand you can trust
And the still small voice
That calls like the rising sun

Come
And bring your heart
To every day
Run the risk of fearlessly loving
Without running away

– Jason Grey, Without Running Away

So that’s my prayer this summer. To shine the warm rays of the Summer sun upon the dark corners of my heart, and rest in the hand I can trust.  To sweep fresh air through stale rooms, and sit still long enough to hear His still small voice call me like the rising sun. To participate in the Festival of Unleavened Bread – bringing my heart to the hunt for yeast – and run the risk of fearlessly loving, without running away.

Won’t you pray with me?

Dearest Jesus,

The dark clouds of defeat close in like a mist.  Making it hard to see a way out.  May your Light shine bright in those corners we daily hide.  Help up to hold onto Your hand as we wander into the secret places of our heart, hunting for yeast.  Encourage us as we run the risk of fearlessly loving, without running away.

Amen.

Notes of Encouragement:

I know it’s dark.  But it’s real.  And it’s really the state of my heart today {and most days}.  Won’t you pray as we run the risk of fearlessly loving without running away?

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