This is the time of the year for picnics. A picnic is usually conducted outside and it usually includes more than one person. I was thinking—What if??? I went to the park for a picnic. I spread out my blanket on the ground under a beautiful old spreading shade tree and sit down with my picnic basket in hand but before I can open it I glance over and see a man’s sandaled feet and looking up I realize he has on a long robe and as He asks, “May I join you?” I realize it’s JESUS!!!
He sits down and I sit there stunned for a moment before my mind begins to work, HMMM I realize I am really glad I didn’t wear those short shorts and halter top I’d thought about wearing today. Even at that my hand flies to my bosom as I realize the summer dress I’m wearing is a tad too revealing.
Then I grab my other hand away from my picnic basket as if it burned me as I remember the sexy summer read it contains that I was going to indulge in. by now I’m blushing furiously but He doesn’t seem to notice as He pulls out a picnic basket of His own. Where did that come from? I don’t remember seeing that when He first sat down—oh that’s right—He is the one that fed the five thousand with no more than a few fish and some small loaves of bread.
“I thought I’d share my lunch with you,” He offers. I find my, until then absent, voice and murmur, “thank you.”after all I am starving and no way am I opening my picnic basket. Not for all the tea in china—but then—Doesn’t Jesus have x-ray vision? Oops. I slide over in front of the basket just to make it a little harder for Him to discern that novel lurking inside.
The first thing He sets out before me is a jug of pure cold water. He pours some into a sparkling glass and hands it to me. Wow! This tastes better than anything I’ve ever tasted before. What is this? Where did He get it?
As if He can read my mind---of course—He says to me, “This is the living water that I offered to the woman at the well. If you drink of this water you will never thirst again.” He smiles and I realize that I have just sipped the water of everlasting life. Here my Savior sits before me generously offering to me this water of everlasting life in spite of my sinful condition that I was all too aware of the moment His presence became known to me. I see genuine love in His eyes as I drink deeply of this cool pure beverage that quenches my thirst deep down inside where I didn’t even know I was thirsty.
Next He brings out a loaf of bread and breaks off a piece and hands it to me. Normally I never eat bread without butter but this bread is sweet and savory to the taste. “hmmm,” I mumble around a gorgeous mouth full of this delicious food.
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Jesus seeing my reaction says, “I am the bread of life, he that comes to me shall never hunger. I am the true bread from heaven.” I take another bite and relish this special bread knowing that it will take away not only my physical hunger but my spiritual hunger as well until I no longer need the things of this world to satisfy me. That book is so going in the garbage when I get home.
Next He brings out a bowl of crisp, fresh salad. “Refresh yourself with this repast,” He encourages. As I begin to crunch this wholesome food; He begins to speak to me of heavenly things that are abundant and nourishing and free to all who will take the time to spend in His presence. I sit there feeding upon His Words as much as the salad before me and a great peace and joy and contentment comes over me.
Then He pulls out of His basket the dessert. Rich and chocolately. I had thought I was full but now I realize I have just a little more room in my tummy. It is the sweetest most luscious most luxurious taste that has ever graced my palate. “How sweet this is!” I exclaim between mouthfuls. “Yes.” He replies,”Heavenly you might say.” He winks at me as He begins to pack up to leave.
“Wait!” I say not willing for Him to leave so soon—“Where is the meat? Doesn’t’ a meal usually have meat?” “Yes,” He replies but you are not quite ready for that yet.” He nods toward my basket and I know what He means. I had some personal house cleaning to do, some sin to confess, and more time spent feeding upon His Words. “Then you’ll be ready.” He said—reading my mind again.
As I watch Him walk away across the grass I sigh as I already miss Him but then something inside me says, “I will never leave you or forsake you I have sent my Holy Spirit to live inside of you.” Immediately I feel comforted by this wonderful gift of the Spirit that He has left with me after I have partaken of this “heavenly meal.”