- Mary Grace Whatley
A sourdough relationship
Recently I’ve stepped into the learning of how to make sourdough bread. And if you know anything about it, you know it is a PROCESS. It takes days and a lot of love to get your sourdough starter prepared before you even make the bread. I have been actively trying to make this dehydrated starter come alive and I am struggling. At first I struggled with the wrong ingredients - unbleached instead of bleached flour. *eye roll* Then after having to basically start over (I had spent 5 days trying to make this thing come alive already), I started struggling with the thought that I will never get it where it needed to be to be ready for baking bread.
And then Jesus started whispering to me.
Oftentimes in life, we feel the need to have a checklist of things we have to in order to keep in line and in good graces with God. For me, my checklist includes: spending the start of every day with Jesus, church on Sunday’s, getting in a Bible study, reading biblical knowledge based books, etc. And when one of these things is neglected, I feel all out of whack and not connected to God. Much like messing up my starter, I feel as if I’m not ready to be in communication with God, I’m not ready to receive what He has for me, or I’m not in a good enough space to bring God my burdens. To put it more simply - I get in the headspace where if I neglect one area of my life with God, I can’t show up as I am in His good graces and thus leading me to think I have to “start all over again”.
But the good news is - with sourdough starter and our relationship with Jesus - you don’t have to “start over”. With my starter, I learned that it is very hard to kill it. You can accidentally mess up ratios a little, use the wrong flour, and it can STILL be active and ready to use with some extra love. It’s not totally dead. Much like my relationship with Jesus.
There are periods of time in my walk with Jesus where I feel like I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do, like my checklist I talked about above, yet still feel like I’m totally far from Him. I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing right? Kind of. Yes, all of those things I want to do are good things but is my heart actually open to His communication with me? Am I coming to Him with totally open arms ready to receive the grace He freely gives and the wisdom I’ve asked for? Am I emptying myself so I can be filled with more of Him? Or am I holding on to this tiny bit of autonomy on this side of Heaven? And that’s where the beauty of the gospel can seep into every crevice where I feel like I’m not measuring up completely when I answer these questions truthfully. His Word tells us, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. PRAISE GOD that I don’t have to have everything checked off my list in order to be myself in the presence of Jesus. Praise God that He loves when I come to him, arms totally open, showing all my weaknesses, so that HE can be working in my life powerfully and His glory shown perfectly. I can come to Jesus time and time again, leaving my sense of autonomy behind, and letting Him in to see me for who I am.
So the next time I feel like my sourdough starter is lacking or I messed up the quantities (cause lets be honest.. it’ll happen lol), I can pause and remember that like my starter, my relationship with Jesus can be what it is in that moment and I can come back to Him time and time again - giving him my time, my commitment, leaving my autonomy at the door - knowing that I am greeted with conversation, love, and grace.