The Fridge and the Kingdomposted on October 29th, 2012 / by Nancy Smith / 9 Comments
I love my refrigerator.
No, really. I do. Seriously. I love to go grocery shopping and fill up my fridge with good things. I’m something of a food snob (or so my nearly 15-year-old daughter tells me), so I love to see good quality, healthy food in my refrigerator. I’ve been known to actually stand for a few minutes, gazing into my fridge, admiring its contents.
I fill my refrigerator with good things for my family: healthy veggies, fruits, always good salsa, and my favorite—good cheese. I love cheese. Adore it. If I ever win the lottery (which I assume one actually has to play in order to win) I am going to my favorite grocery store and going absolutely hog wild in the cheese section. And then I’m having all of you over for a cheese party.
It delights me to see my children enjoying the good things I provide for them in my fridge. It makes me happy that when they’re hungry, they just go open that door and get what they want. I love to hear my daughter espousing the virtues of a good white cheddar, paired with a fresh Honeycrisp apple in the fall. I love to hear my son asking for green beans (yes, that has happened in my house).
Several years ago, Alan and I visited some friends for dinner at their home. These friends crossed the line years ago from “friend” to “family.” She was the matron of honor at my wedding, and my oldest child is named for her. He is a true brother to both Alan and me. Their children are like my own. I adore these people.
The day of our visit was a scorcher, well over 100 degrees. We walked in, and Alan made a beeline for the refrigerator, pulling out a can of Dr. Pepper. He popped the top, took a huge swig, and sat down in the living room next to my friend’s father-in-law.
Father-in-law was incensed. “Do you always walk into other people’s houses and help yourself to whatever you want?” he grumbled. Then he turned to my friend. “In my day, the women served the guests. No one would have ever gotten something by themselves like that!”
My friend (who happened to be rather hugely pregnant at the time) raised an eyebrow at me, turned to her father-in-law and said, “Alan and Nancy aren’t guests in my house. They’re family. They’re welcome to have whatever they can find.”
Guests in the house need to ask. They need permission. Some guests (so I’ve heard), when not properly served, have been offended by the lack of provision they sometimes perceive.
But family? Nah, family just gets to partake. They get to dig in. They get to open the fridge, view the offerings and take what they need—or want.
There are other things in my fridge besides healthy food. Chocolate, for instance. Ice cream. The occasional Mexican Coca-Cola (if you haven’t tried one of these beauties, you’re missing out!). Things we might just want, because we enjoy them.
How many of us approach the Kingdom of God as guests in the house? We know there is provision for us; we’ve read all about the refrigerator, if you will, and its abundant offerings. We know that those things are supposed to be there for us, but we’re not sure how we, as guests, are to access them. So we ask. And ask. And wait. And ask. And wait some more. And become discouraged when we don’t seem to receive the things we’re asking for.
For some reason, we approach the Kingdom as the orphans in the musical Oliver! seem to approach their providers, as beggars: “Please, sir, may I have some more?” Then we turn away in fear, as if asking for something far out of bounds.
The Kingdom of God is abundance. The offerings available to us as believers are limitless: righteousness, peace, joy, love, kindness, patience, self-control, healing, power, provision … they’re all there. For us. Right now.
Revelation 21 speaks of a time when there will be no more weeping, no more sorrow, no more death, when the New Heaven and the New Earth will make their appearance and all things will be made new. But we’re not there yet, are we? The death toll on Planet Earth currently sits at a whopping 100%. I know people who have cancer. Babies die. Atrocities happen. Obviously we have not yet experienced that Revelation 21 time yet. We will, but we haven’t yet.
But when Jesus died on the Cross, one of the last phrases He uttered was, “It is finished.” What was finished? At the moment of His death, the thing that was finished was the appropriation of the full restoration of God’s original design for mankind, described in Genesis—and then again in Revelation. He had crossed the breech, fulfilled the necessary sacrifice, and provided full restitution for our sin. It is finished.
The door to the Kingdom and all it contains was opened wide to us as believers in that moment. How much of it can we access now, prior to Revelation 21? I don’t know, but I know it has to be more than I’m accessing now. I know there has to be more healing, more freedom, more provision, more peace, more joy than I have now.
When I became a believer, when I got saved, I was adopted into the family of God and His Kingdom became my Kingdom. All that He has became my inheritance. I am a co-heir with Christ. It’s mine. And I’m hungry for it. I want more than I have. I want people in wheelchairs to get up and walk. I want blind eyes opened. I want deaf ears healed. I want the prisoners set free! I want the lepers cleansed and the dead raised.
Our Father delights to give us these things. He’s promised us the nations as our inheritance—and don’t think it doesn’t make Him happy to give it to us! I think He laughs out loud when His kids begin to dig in and discover the abundant blessing and power available to them. He knows how to give us good gifts—and He likes doing it.
I’m growing more and more comfortable walking right up to the fridge and helping myself to all that’s available. I’m growing more and more comfortable with the idea that I am no longer a guest in the house—I’m a son of the house (sorry, ladies; the guys get to be the Bride, we get to be sons). I’m family.
Come with me, will you? There’s a feast in there. Let’s go get it.