Manna-Moments from the Kitchen Pantry

By Shannon Lewis
In Formed
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Shannon here, coming to you live from my pantry. I snuck in here to hide from my children for a quick minute. I just jammed the last Fig Newton into my mouth, and I have to type quickly because I can hear them setting up a Connect4 tournament for me in the dining room. But I have an important story to tell you, so they will have to wait.

On October 14, 1987, news was traveling like wildfire in Midland Texas. An 18-month-old baby had fallen down a well, and as soon as Ron Short had heard this news, he left his job site and headed to the scene of the accident. He knew that he might be able to help save the baby, because he had unique abilities. He was born with cleidocranial dysostosis, which basically meant he had one heck of a party trick. He could collapse his shoulders into each other because he was born without collar bones. He spoke with a fire fighter on scene and was soon able to help eventually free, after 56 hours, the child we would all come to know as Baby Jessica.

Ron wasn’t the only one whose brokenness offered hope. Other calls from people with ideas came in that day to the fire and police departments, such as a woman who worked with the local circus as a contortionist, offering her amazing flexibility in case it would prove helpful to wedge Baby Jessica out.

Shannon, why are you telling me all this? Why does this matter to me?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

To most people, Ron Short’s body was broken, incomplete, and severely limited. But it was Ron’s limitations that aided him in helping someone else. The fact is that we simply never expect our limitations or flaws to be exactly what God will use for his glory or to further His Kingdom. Look at Moses. He had immediate doubts and God had to use his teacher voice to get him to understand the He didn’t make a mistake when He called his name.

So, it makes sense to me that when we hear other Easter people from our church say things like God is calling us to become a multi-ethnic movement of missionary disciples formed in the way of Jesus for the sake of the world, it may feel as though a baby has fallen down a well. Doubt creeps in and sounds like “Are you sure you’re qualified?” or “Did God really mean YOU?” What about “Does He remember your flaws and short comings?” or my personal favorite “Do you even possess the audacity it takes to lean into something THIS important?”

SPOILER ALERT, pals: you are, He did, He does, and you do.

I am not going to lie. This quarantine/homeschooling/lock down/civil uprising situation has thrown me for a loop. I am thinking about my life in a way that I honestly never have before. It seems more important than ever to be intentional with our words and actions. We have realized so much we took for granted (looking at you, bottomless mimosa brunch and in person conversations).

We are in such an enormous swirl of emotion, action, education, and anxiety. The unknown seems vast. The future feels foggy. It may at times, look a little bleak. I mean, Moses and his crew made sand angels in the desert for 40 years before they got to the promised land. We are just 6 months in.

So how do we harness the gumption to stay on track and keep going?

We remember this: God’s promises have not changed, and we know the Lord fights for us.

I want you to know that you should keep going. Think about those little revelations you are having about yourself, your children, your parenting styles, and your potentially racist GamGam. Keep leaning in, brothers and sisters.

Some of us are having some pretty tough conversations right now at work, with loved ones, and with our friends. Some of us are even having to do some intense introspection work to go deeper within. But I want to remind you guys that it is all beneficial. It is all meaningful, and it is all important.

Check out all the reading, the listening, the curiosity, the googling of all the information that we are wading through right now in this racial uprising that is happening around us. Every single nugget we grab hold of should count as tuition. When we are back to hugging people in person and singing together at the church house, community will feel so much sweeter.

It is hard work, but I have found soothing balms in this crazy time. Some of my friendships have deepened on a level I didn’t even know I needed. I am seeing my children in a completely different light, noticing things about their personalities that I would have missed with them being at school. My technology skills have improved – a tad. And I have been able to identify some things about myself that I need to work on. (looking at you, introspection)

Those bright spots in your life right now? Those are manna moments. Ron reminders, if you will.

Why? Because God’s promises are still true.

We need look for and anchor to the MannaMoments. We can celebrate God’s RonReminders.™

Reminders that tell us that no matter who we are or what brokenness we hold, He sends us help and redemption. He loves us and cares for us. God’s promises have not changed, and we know the Lord fights for us.

Now, I just heard the Hamilton opening song begin so I think Connect 4 has been abandoned and musicals are MUCH more my speed. I am going to grab the Nutella and a spoon and head out to the couch.

As I re-emerge from my hiding place, I want to tell you to keep your eyes up, IBC! We will be out of this well and into the promised land of being together again soon. Until then, remember that just as Baby Jessica went on to grow up and live a healthy life, and the Israelites made it home, we are going to be okay.

FORMED

God is calling us, the people of Irving Bible Church, to become a multi-ethnic movement of missionary disciples, formed in the way of Jesus for the sake of the world.

We want to be a transformed people who experience vibrant spiritual growth together. We want the Spirit of God to shape us more and more into the likeness of Jesus as we follow him.

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