A friend sent me this devotional from Daughters of Promise Devotional, from Christine Wyrtzen. I got permission to reprint it here because it is so good.
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” John 6:66-67
What caused the crowd following Jesus to turn away and leave? Jesus words about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. They were content to eat the bread He offered as long as it was physical provision. When hungry, they eagerly consumed the loaves and fishes. As soon as the subject turned to spiritual food, their interest faded. The concept was too radical; the cost too high.
Today, I can be equally limiting. I can pray for the miraculous provision necessary to pay an overdue bill but reject the bread that promises to expose, then heal, my anger. I will embrace bread for the body but reject bread for the soul. Yesterday while in prayer, Jesus spoke to me about my life’s story, and I felt the Spirit ask me the question, “Where would you still like to be changed? How would you like for your story to be different a year from now?” I’m still thinking about that and will be prayerfully carving out an answer.
Whatever landscape Jesus touches changes. I would be shortsighted if I only desired His effect in the physical and not the spiritual. I can ask Him to bring peace to my home but forfeit the opportunity for Him to bring peace to the tormented places in my mind. I can ask Him to bring healing to my body but still live in want of the inner healing of my deepest childhood wound. I can ask for Him to provide the next meal for my family yet fail to eat the sumptuous spiritual meal He has prepared for the renovation of my soul.
Following Jesus is to embrace all of His teachings. While He will allow me to pray for superficial things and give me the choice on whether or not to go deep, the only one who loses when I choose superficiality is me. At the end of my life, I don’t want my testimony to sound like this. “In 1989, I prayed and Jesus miraculously provided the money I needed to pay my electric bill.” Rather, I pray that this story will be told. “I was once afraid of everything, unsure of myself, and played it safe. I ate of the bread of life and over the course of my lifetime, He changed me completely.”
I don’t want to go away, like the crowd. Your questions are hard, Your bread sometimes threathens the places where I’m comfortable, but I eat of You today. I am hungry. Amen