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Burnt Toast & Broken Pipes

You're probably wondering what on earth burnt toast has to do with anything, never mind broken pipes. But hang with me for a few minutes, I promise I'll explain.

If you're like me, you'll have burned your fair share of toast. Not all bread is created equal sadly, and toasters are made to fit a certain size of slice. So a lot of times I've ended up pushing a slice in to make it fit. The key to this operation is not having 8 other things you're trying to do at the same time! But unless you're the personification of cool, calm and collected in the morning, very soon, your nose is reminding you about that toast you turned your back on.

Ballymena men are often referred to as tight-fisted, due to our Ulster-Scots background, so I've never been keen to just throw things out without trying to salvage them. Most times I'll be standing, scraping a burned piece of toast, telling myself "I'm sure it'll be fine..." But it never is.

That sort of sums up life too, I think. So many times I persist doing something which I know will not bring me peace in my heart or a sense of fulfilment. Maybe I think it's the best I can do; or that it's the 'hand I've been dealt.' We will persevere in doing something, even if its hurting us. But, good habits are just as easily learned as bad habits. As I began my journey back to relationship with Jesus, I found myself slipping into the exact same habits that got me in trouble before. The Lord reminded me that this time, things needed to be different, so I asked Him to help me see how I could see lasting change in my life.

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water." Jeremiah 2:13 (NIV)

Jeremiah hit the proverbial nail on the head. There are 2 sins involved here. The first is forsaking God, and the other is trying to find satisfaction in something other than Him. Israel was always looking at the other nations and how well off they were. They were never satisfied. What about you? Do you feel satisfaction in your own heart for where you are right now? Maybe you're like me... I love technology and sparkly things so easily distract me. That new iPhone 13 looks awesome, or the latest TV, or music system. Or maybe its clothes, or cars or a thousand other things.

The truth is though, none of those are made to last and none of them are meant to satisfy our souls. The soul is the part of us that always craves more. That craving is not wrong. It was placed there by God Himself when he made us. The thing is, the soul is made to crave 'the spring of living water' that Jesus offers. Anything else we try to fill that craving with will leave us thirsty. That is why nothing we try will ever satisfy us. But if we can start to get rid of the noise in our lives, then we can better see the way to find peaceful hearts and the One who is the Water of Life.

Try and create some space to spend time with Jesus today. I've 2 lively little yorkies in the house and sometimes that's so hard. Most of us have busy lives and noisy homes, but there are ways to carve out that space in our lives. During the warmer weather, I would go sit in the garden and have my cereal, before the rest of the world around me was up and making noise. It can be anywhere, but its vital that we start to create that space for God to speak into. I remember once hearing Paul Scanlon say "God is drawn to emptiness..." and its true. Jesus won't compete with your Instagram or Facebook. He will just wait.

I found some great videos on YouTube of nature sounds, rainstorms, sea waves, so sometimes, when there is no quietness, I can pop the headphones on and settle in for some alone time with Jesus. There are a few things that can help us find that space and maybe it takes a bit of effort to get there, but in the end, your soul will thank you....

Peace & Grace,

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