Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me. (John 6:35)
I have probably read this passage a hundred times if not more like several hundred, but each time we go through scripture God can bring something new to mind. I think it is because we are more ready to 'see' things or 'hear' things at some times than we are at others. Life's circumstances, our attitude of heart, the removal of distractions, and creating a 'space' for God's presence are just a few things that influence how 'open' we are to what God wants to show us. I am the Bread of Life - how many times have you read that yourself? What does that mean to you? That isn't the portion that jumped out to me today, though. If you read on, you discover a couple of very specific words that caught my attention. Aligns - explicitly - I hold on and don't let go. Those are the words that captured my thoughts for just a while this morning.
Aligns - the person who 'aligns' with him hungers no more and thirsts no more. We all know this is not a 'physical' hunger or thirst being addressed here, right? It is more than likely a hunger or thirst that is spiritual and even emotional. Yes, emotional! God knows we have many 'hungers' and we 'thirst' for things like feelings of belonging, being appreciated or cherished, and even feeling like we aren't a bother to him. Jesus reminds us today that our 'alignment' with him will do more than just set us right spiritually - freeing us from our sinful pasts, but it actually helps us find that emotional balance we are so desperately craving. To align really symbolizes us bringing our every thought and attitude into 'cooperation' or 'agreement' with how he has created us to live life. It means we don't have to crave belonging any longer because when we align with him, our sense of belonging is not just realized, it is met to the fullest extent.
Explicitly - God doesn't tell us to align with him in a manner that is going to be hard for us to grasp - he tells us our most fulfilled place or sense of belonging is found when we align with him - period. He knows we need to hear this clearly, and even to have it demonstrated in our lives, because we don't need anymore complicated explanations - religious pursuits give us enough of those already! God is 'specific' with us because he knows when we understand it is our 'cooperative' and 'yielded' spirit that brings us into the place of hungering and thirsting no longer, we will not want to wait a moment longer to enter into that place!
I hold on and don't let go - maybe this is a little odd for me to focus on within this passage, but here is why it caught my attention this morning - God does the holding - we don't. He only asks for us to align with him - like when we turn the two poles of the magnet toward each other - then he pulls us into that closeness with him, much like the magnet attracts and holds the object that is now in alignment with it. As we align ourselves with him, he pulls us closer and closer until that union is not able to be severed. It is a 'firm grip' he has on each of us - we can count on that. No matter how 'feeble' my grip - his is stronger and more capable of holding me even when I feel like I am slipping away! This is indeed good news for us - our grip isn't what matters - it is just our alignment! He does the holding - we just need to do the aligning! Just sayin!