You know the kind, those who go through life with you and are a sweet place of rest and wholeness. The kind of people that when you leave them you are fuller with God’s presence and joy then when you entered. When we offer up the incense of prayer together, we all come out smelling like God. These are the people with whom you share common passions, carry each others burdens and celebrate each others victories. Those are your oasis buddies.
The friends you pray with get a front row seat on all the God activity in your life and the same for you in their lives. We share that front row seat as we pray for the church, the leaders, the hurting, the nation and the world together.
I’m blessed to have two women that I meet with twice a week and we have been meeting for over 3 years now. Almost without fail and the difference it has made in my life is huge. Through life’s most difficult circumstances and life’s richest blessings we have been together.
Today the youngest of us is having a birthday. We celebrate our youngest sister. We tell her she is the spoiled one for she carries the favor of the baby in the family. Leslie just smiles her mega watt smile and says she knows she is the favorite. Karen and I adore her and her family.
Happy Birthday my brilliant sweet friend. Thank you for being my oasis friend.
I’m reading a good book named Sitting at the Feet of Rabbi Jesus by Ann Spangler
The author brought up a great question that originated as a Rabbinic parable.
There are four types of people that sit before the presence of rabbis (spiritual teachers): The sponge, the funnel, the strainer, and the sieve.
“The sponge,” which soaks up everything.
“The funnel,” which takes in at this end and lets out at the other.
“The strainer, which lets out the wine and retains the dregs.
“The sieve,” which removes the chaff and retains the fine flour.
At first glance it would be easy to presume that the sponge is the best of all the choices but the truth is that a sponge takes in both the good and the bad of all that is taught. Folk theology embraces those who do not question or exercise discernment when hearing a teaching. Good questions should be asked. If a sponge accepts all then when it is squeezed then both good and bad will also be released.
The funnel is probably one of the most frustrating to watch in the life of a believer. We have saying that here in America “in one ear and out the other. That would best portray the funnel effect of a Christian who attends church, listens to anointed teaching but never has any life change. This is also the most damaging to every true disciple in the body of Christ.
The strainer. An example of a strainer might be someone that doesn’t necessarily consider themselves church attenders but they do count themselves as Christians. Somehow they have been wounded in the church or by an individual and they in essence have thrown the baby out with the bath water. A strainer let’s the good out and retains the particles that need to be thrown out. Holding onto bitterness causes them to lose the blessing of larger community. It’s easy to be offended it’s hard to be mature. We were never meant to keep the dregs, though they do exist, we have the power to throw out what is not healthy for us and keep what is beneficial.
The sieve is our ultimate hope as we learn from each of the previous examples. I have been all four of these metaphors in the past. I hope I am learning to be a sieve and I’m trying to throw out the strainer in me. To allow the chaff to fall away while retaining the best of the flour. The ability to make bread – to continue distributing bread for those who are hungry.
So which can you relate to the most? I’d love to know.