Monthly Archives: September 2016

Buttered to the Edges

img_5710By Judy Villanueva

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,  nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!  But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season.  And its leaf does not wither;  And in whatever he does, he prospers.         (Psalm 1:1-3)                                                                                                     

I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

The smell of bacon crisping filled the kitchen and snuck up the stairs with enticements to wake up and get moving!  My husband and I were staying at the home of dear friends and had dutifully followed the call of pork to the kitchen. “Pop!” The toast had risen and the buttering began!  That’s when she said it!  “Did you butter to the edges?”  I looked up just in time to catch the nodding smile of my friend’s husband as he slathered butter all the way to the crust!  The idea made sense on so many levels and seemed to sizzle alongside the bacon with a question for me to ponder. “Is my life buttered to the edges?  Is Christ being formed in me all the way through to my crust, saturating every bite with the taste of His buttery goodness?”

The Potter and clay, the Vine and branches, and the tree firmly planted by streams of water tell a story of spiritual growth.  They describe ways of being in life that are soul forming and God-shaping.

Revealed in each metaphor is an invitation to flourish alongside a picture of a mind blowing collaboration with the Creator!

Our part involves staying in His hands, abiding in the Vine, and sinking our roots into
the waters of Life.  His part is faithfully molding, filling and nourishing us to our edges.  Far from a magic wand, we work with God in the growth of strong branches and forming of fruit.  But, it is His beautiful heart that cleanses, heals, and imparts the power that transforms us from the inside out.

A seed sprouted that day at the breakfast table, a desire to be buttery!  And, right alongside was an invitation to consider my crustiness.  I sighed as I recognized the dry burnt edges of worry and fear, impatience and pride…unbelief and self-will.

Can I know what God already knows with my arms raised and heart secured by His love?

Do I trust that His invitations are designed to shape my soul as they stir up desires to be more like Him?  In those precarious moments that seem to teeter between pain and promise, I felt the Potter’s hand gently tilt my face toward His and say, “Abide with Me.” Staying in His hands, delighting in His word, paying attention to His voice help me touch His love and cooperate in making me buttery, but the feel of His face seeing me in all my crustiness floods my heart with gratitude and lionhearted hope!  His love makes a way.

“Thank you, Father, for your love. It’s what drew me to you so many years ago and what keeps drawing me every day since. Teach me how to abide better. Call me into your presence. Make me more like Jesus. Amen.”

What about you?

Is your life buttery to the edges?  Is Christ being formed in you?

Can you name your crusty edges?

Most of us know how to visit God but what is it to abide with Him?

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