I remember when gasoline was 35 cents a gallon during a price war in the late 1960s. (Yes, I know that dates me! Although, I am not as old as dirt.) That was long before Esso had to change its name to Exxon. I can still hear my dad say, “Fill’er up.” We’d get the full treatment. It was why they were called service stations rather than gas stations. My dad worked at one of those while he went to A&E school—Airplane and Engine mechanic school. He was very familiar with Christian service.
Service is much more than checking the oil level or cleaning the windshield. It had a lot to do with trust. Life was also a lot slower, and people got to know each other. People would pay attention to each other, and call each other by name. One grocery clerk I knew, called all her customers by name, and chatted with them about their families and their lives as she totaled up their purchases. It didn’t matter to her customers that they had to wait in a longer line than the other clerks' lines. It was a treat for them to be considered worthy of a smile and gentle concern. That clerk became their friend. I do not doubt that some customers came through her line just to talk to her, many of them senior citizens. Maybe lonely, maybe just needed that verbal hug for the day. She never forgot to say, “Jesus loves you!” It was a blessing and a gift that she gave within the confines of her job, and the ones she touched appreciated it and her greatly.
Americans rattle around their lives grabbing all they can to stuff into the God-sized hole that He created in our soul when our soul was created. They stuff new clothes and jewels into the hole, or more parties, or boats and cars, or change wives as often as they change shoes to satisfy that hunger and soothe the ache that bruises our insides. The culprit of dissatisfaction draws us down paths in search of Shangri-La, the greener grass, the things hoped for and things yet unseen. Americans search for the American dream, yet when things like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, 9/11 disaster, and all kinds of economic distress hit American hearts and minds, Main Streets and kitchen pantries, that is when the hearts of Americans turn to God with eyes to see the misery, the grace to forgive sin, the hand to lift the fallen underneath their heavy loads. We go back to the foundation laid by our forefathers, all the way back to a hill called Calvary and a blood stained cross. That is what has given us great comfort, great courage, great peace, and that is what fills the God-sized chasm. Jesus said He came to serve. Imagine that! The King of the Universe a servant.
We live in a land of great freedom, but it is also the land of slavery… addictions… bitterness… rage… unforgiveness… all the seeds of the unsatisfied soul. Too bad too many are seeking satisfaction from empty things that cannot possibly satisfy.
It would be so much easier to lay in God's strong arms and let Him carry us than for us to walk on our own two feet. We think that would be the epitome of being satisfied.
It is not.
God wants to teach our feet to walk on all types of ground—rocky, grassy, soft dirt, swinging bridges, up hill and down vale. He does not intend to carry us forever. He did give us each other, brothers and sisters, siblings in Christ to support each other. But we must walk in order to receive God’s blessings, to do the work that He prepared for us to do.
Our founding fathers knew this and gladly suffered frost, heat, bullets, hunger, thirst, inadequate clothing, treason, life without limbs, and death to give us this legacy of freedom. They did this while trusting and loving and believing God, and giving Him the glory.
With belief, comes action. With action, comes blessing. With blessing, comes pleasure. With pleasure, comes God’s smile. And that is the prize they claimed, then handed down to us! It is what Paul discovered, and why he wrote, “But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
All those wonderful things are ours just because we belong to Him, yet how many of us actually have tanks completely full, topped off with this fruit? Why don’t we? If a live dog is better than a dead lion, just how many are buying dead lions?
So whence does the satisfaction come? Isaiah 58:11 And Jehovah shall always guide you, and satisfy your soul in dry places, and make strong your bones. And you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.
When we run out of fuel, and we always do, we’ve got a huge God who will fill us up with eternal and temporary fuel. He has never failed me. Thank God, our forefathers could see Truth, and took heart in troubled times. Thank God for the legacy they bequeathed to Americans. We must continue as they began, and make sure our foundation remains securely upon the Rock.
'Refreshment in Refuge' Copyright 2014 © Gina Burgess. 'Refreshment in Refuge' articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each story, along with their complete bio and a link to http://www.liveasif.org/ 2) 'Refreshment in Refuge' content may not be arranged or "mirrored" as a competitive online service.
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