Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Feed the Panini to the Ducks!

“Panini!”  We giggled and talked  about this squished grilled sandwich on a recent road trip.

I don’t normally crave bread—I just don’t—don’t hate me.  But I have found myself thinking about it often these past few days and remembering this one deli I visited often with some former co-workers years ago…oh they served up a yummy Panini! 

While driving home from a retreat, my girlfriend and I were talking about a story we had heard recently and how the characters in the story reflected our lives in a way.  Panini was the name that just kept coming out when we couldn’t remember the antagonist’s name, Peninnah in the story of 1 Samuel. 

You see Panini had it and Hannah didn’t—but Panini wasn’t satisfied with what she had, and her blessing of many children surely didn’t keep her busy enough that she had extra energy to taunt Hannah.  Maybe Panini’s heart was squashed much like a real Panini sandwich when she saw the favor her husband, Elkanah showed Hannah.  Maybe seeing this favor reigning from the Lord on Hannah, turned up the heat in Panini’s heart stirring up all kinds of evil and jealousy; causing Panini to ooze out all kinds of messy emotions and words. 

Is there a Panini in your life?  Are you acting like Panini?  (We are capable of both)

Can you handle seeing another granted favor and be truly happy for them—even encourage them and help them?

I know at times Panini’s hot, messy, squashed heart may resemble mine especially when I am focused on comparing my life with someone else’s, and not fully believing and living out who I am in Christ. 

I also have experienced a Panini or two squishing and oozing their mess a little too close to my heart.   It is not pretty and just so unexpected.

What do we then do with that?

Have you like Hannah found yourself praying out of great anguish and grief?  Journal pages and hard pavement have been good places for me to pound out the Panini pain.

It hurts to be squished by or like a Panini.   A Panini can squash with harsh words, looks of disdain or maybe there are no words at all to communicate disapproval—sometimes the absence of our encouraging words hurt the most.  Or maybe, it is the ‘un-friend’ action on Facebook, or the absence of that ‘like’ or comment on your Facebook post, right??  (Seriously, we need to live beyond Facebook, but it’s there isn’t it?) 

In the midst of Hannah’s hurt, it says she stood up—and, “…wept much and prayed to the LORD.”  (1 Sam 1:10)  Don’t you just love that—she had the courage to stand and talk with her God in the midst of it all!  Sometimes all I want is a good cry in my pillow. 

This reminds me of what I heard singer/songwriter Beckah Shae say on Girlfriendit Radio a few weeks back, “To see yourself the way that God sees you is the beginning to freedom.”   (You can listen to the podcast of the "Put Your Love Glasses On," show here).

The words stood up and stand is rising up above the page for me both in my Bible and in my head as I think about the truth in Beckah Shae’s comment.  Freedom to stand…YES!

Stand firm, then…(Galations 5:1)

Stand at the crossroads…(Jer 6:16)

Stand firm and you will see the deliverance of the LORD…(Exodus 14:13)

I can’t help but giggle a little as I picture this truth of standing up and believing we are who God says we are, not what some squashed sandwich may express to us…really?!? 

I’m not sure why the word Panini has stuck with me these last couple of weeks, but I’m giggling and I think this is good because like Patty and Lisa also talk about on their radio show, laughter is needed to diffuse the pain and it helps us not water the seed of pain allowing anger and bitterness to grow.  If you wanna get your teary-eyes off the pillow and  laugh some more, keep listening to this particular show, for Patty and Lisa chat with comedian Kerri Pomarolli next…she is a hoot and literally stands up for truth!  

It’s time to stand up girls—seek our God who loves us and has great things for us and take that Panini sandwich and feed it to the birds!  

(Or like me, the ducks I saw on my walk this morning—God loves me this I know, for He reminded me this morning to quit giving the Paninis in my life any volume and feed the Panini to the ducks!  And God loves me no less or no more than He loves you—no joke!)

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